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Ghana aim for CHAN place

By Ghana FA
By Ghana FA

11/30/2008 1:05:18 PM -

Ghana expects a potentially explosive confrontation when the local Black Stars take on Nigeria in final qualifying for the African Nations Championships.

The two arch rivals will meet in Accra on Sunday in the final qualifier for the first-ever CHAN, the event open only to locally-based players.

There are six other first leg games this weekend as teams aim to qualify for the finals in the Ivory Coast next February.

Ghana can take a commanding advantage over their West African rivals by beating them at the Ohene Djan Stadium today, which would also put the Black Stars in the frame of qualifying for the finals.

The Ghana bench believes that Nigeria will be walking out of contention by then, if the Black Stars takes at least a two-goal lead from the first leg.

"I believe we will try and get two or three goals to be sure of ourselves," assistant Ghana coach, Kwasi Appiah told BBC Sport in a pre-game interview.

"I don't like predicting but I believe looking at the training that we've done this week and all the players want to stay in the national team and they see this game with Nigeria as a big step."

Appiah, a former deputy Black Stars captain says competitions involving both sides are always tough with the rivalry between both sides dating way back.

"When Ghana play Nigeria there's nothing like a big game or a small one whether it's girls or small boys playing its seen differently," he said.

"It's a tough game but the mere fact it's Nigeria means everyone's focus is on the game."

The Black Stars reached the final round stage after completing the double over Niger in April.

Ivory Coast will host the maiden competition from the 22nd February-8th March 2009.The Africa Nations Championships is a new tournament designed by Caf for only home-based players of its member countries.