Ghana’s Black Meteors will have all to play for today when they take on the Fennec Foxes of Algeria in the second leg final qualifier for the CAF U-23 AFCON tournament in Setif, Algeria.
The Algerians will go into the game chest-high having fought to a 1-1 stalemate at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday after a Zorgane Adem first-half strike was cancelled in the second half by Dauda Mohammed from the spot.
Coach Ibrahim Tanko’s side needs a win or at least a score draw of more than two goals if the dream of scaling the Algerian hurdle into the tournament for the Olympic Games was to become a reality.
Assistant Coach Michael Osei believes all is not lost for his side as they also have what it takes to break the Algerians at home.
In a post-match briefing, he agreed his side had a difficult game and did not play well in the first half of Friday’s game and would need to be focused if they are to qualify.
The skipper of the Black Meteors, Yaw Yeboah, also believes the tie is far from over as against what many Ghanaian soccer fans believe.
According to him, the Black Meteors has what it takes to beat the Algerians, even on their soil, and that is the mindset with which they will be approaching the game today.
“All is not over yet, at this moment, we need the full support of Ghanaians through prayers to help us get a win in Algeria.”
The game at the Stade Setif Astroturf will have Moroccan referee Jalal Jayed taking charge of the game with Hicham Ait Abbou and Yahya Nouali assisting him.
Winner of the tie will qualify to November’s tournament scheduled for Egypt 8-22, with the top three countries qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.
Meanwhile, members of the Black Meteors are reported to have vented their frustrations over what they believe is ill-treatment being meted out to them by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Normalisation Committee in the build up to and during their AFCON U-23 last round qualifying match against Algeria, according to a report in citisports.com.
According to the report, apart from being asked to buy their own air tickets to come and honour the game, the team also had to ration a rickety Coaster bus with the women’s national team, the Black Queens, and often needed to wait for close to an hour after training for the bus to drop off the Queens first before coming back for them.
In contrast, their counterparts, the Algerians, were bused around in a comfortable VIP bus upon their arrival in Ghana.
“They’re treating the Algerians better than us, as if when we go there these guys will treat us any better,” one player told Citi Sports.
“This is disgraceful, it’s like they don’t care about this game. The pitch wasn’t even watered. Just putting water on the pitch too, they didn’t do it,” another cried out.