African Games: We’ll rely on our strength against Senegal- U-20 Head coach

African Games: We’ll rely on our strength against Senegal- U-20 Head coach

The Black Satellites have shifted focus to the crunch semi-final match against Senegal which will be played at the Accra Sports Stadium tomorrow, Tuesday March 19, 2024 at 8pm.

Ghana made it to the semis after finishing on top of Group A and will face the runners up from Group B for a place in the grand final of the 13th African Games Men’s Football Competition.

Though Coach Desmond Sakyi Ofei admits Senegal will be tough opponents, the Ghana U20 Head Coach insists that his side will rely on their strengths and will be up to the task on Tuesday evening.

The Ghana trainer made these remarks when he attended the pre-match press conference with player Aaron Essel ahead of the game against Senegal.

He said, “We have learnt, we are coming from a very long way and we are building something special for this national team. We are diligent and we know what we are doing.”

According to Desmond Sakyi Ofei, “We are looking ahead to the future with open arms, we are ready for whoever comes. It’s going to be a very difficult game against a very good side.”

“For us once again, it’s against a very tough opponent. Senegal is a good team and they did well last year in the U17 and U20 tournaments. They went to the World Cup and got one loss and two draws,” he added.

The coach said they are rebuilding, adding that his players have rested well and are prepared for the semis.

He believes there is no luck in the semis. For him, to reach the semi-finals means you did something right.

“We have to stay true to ourselves and what we did in the past to replicate and multiply it. We have to be tactically aware and be sharp on the duels. We need to be well organised and control the ball well. That’s what we stand for, and I think we are improving game by game. We need to be focused on the game at hand against Senegal,” he said.

He noted that “We started camping in October and we touched on every aspect of the game, physically and mentally. We will try and finish the game in the regular playing time. If it goes into penalties, I am sure the boys will be prepared. Luckily, we have Nii Odartey Lamptey who is preparing the boys when it comes to penalties.”

“If you see our games, with the ball we play with a three-back and when we are defending we play with four-back. Defensively, we will be very solid and sharp because they have really good players. That’s what makes football very special because you get to play the best and it’s going to be a good game and we are going to enjoy,” he revealed.

He said that one thing about Ghanaian fans is that they are very honest, adding that they need that honesty and will not disappoint them because they are playing for the love of the nation.

One of the players, Aaron Essel also said, “I have been in almost all male national teams and I think it’s because of my confidence and the hardwork I put in when given the opportunity. Even if I get a Black Stars I believe I will have the confidence to play.”

“We respect every opponent and I have lots of trust in my teammates that irrespective of the opponent, we will emerge victorious,” he added.

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