Banjul, Gambia, May 19, GNA - For the second time in the sixth Africa Under-17 Tournament in The Gambia, the host nation and two time champions Ghana will clash in the two week event, this time to contest for the ultimate trophy.
The game between the two West African sides right from the onset of the tournament has been the long cherished dream of most soccer fans and local analysts following the perfect relationship between the two countries.
But one significant factor that has been the focus of the match is the technical direction of both teams. Coach Osam Doudou, a renowned Ghanaian coach is in charge of the Gambians, whilst coach David Duncan, coach of the Starlets is a former student of the veteran coach at the Winneba Sports College. It is for this reason that the veteran coach himself has dubbed the tie as "a father and son battle".
For a coach who undertook his primary, intermediary and advanced level coaching courses at the tutelage of Coach Osam Doudou, it is obvious that the young coach will have nothing to compare with his "father" when it comes to tactics, but this coach Duncan has down played. He said that "Sometimes a student can determine something basic and important that the lecturer will never be able to understand and this is what I'm going to do on Sunday", the coach said in an interview with the GNA Sports. Coach Duncan has already proven this at the group stages having beaten the Gambians by a lone goal to secure their semi final berth.
The veteran coach on the other hand has insisted that he never loses to the same opponent twice and Sunday will not be different as he is going to plot the best strategy to clip down the Ghanaians. Based on the pronouncements of the two coaches, it is obvious that much will also come from the bench when the two sides lock horns on Sunday.
Both countries also seem hungrier for success because winning the Cup will be the first major trophy in the wardrobe of the young Ghanaian coach, but Coach Osam Doudou, even though is credited with enough success he would want to go into the history books as the first coach to have guided The Gambia to win a major CAF trophy. The ideas and dreams of the two however now remains in the hands of the 22 men that will march onto the pitch for the final encounter.
Coach Osam Doudou has already conceded that he is not endowed with much natural talents as Ghana but has a team which is capable of turning his dreams to reality.
The veteran coach is already plotting plans of cutting supplies to the speedy Ghanaian attackers, whilst coach Duncan is relying on the ability of his boys to over come any opponents no matter their strength. The Gambian team has seen massive improvement match after match and have relied on the ability of wing back Ousman Sonko whose overlapping skills and crosses have always been a sort of worry to all central defenders, whilst Omar Mbye and Mamadou Ceesay have been the key men in attack for the tiny West African country.
The influence of the "magical twins" Sainey and Sainney Nyassi can also not be overruled as they continue to make waves in the competition. Despite the total team work of the Gambians and their huge support, the Ghanaians seem to have all that it takes to win a game at any time. The Starlets have a star who can change the face of the game at any given time. Opoku Agyeman one of the best players in the tournament so far as well as the leading scorer has been a thorn in the flesh of all defenders.
He has scored in every game of the team and single-handedly overturns any defensive network no matter the situation.
Agyeman's exploits will be aided by the return of George Appiah and Sadat Bukari whose performance in the last game influenced the success of the team. In defence, coach Duncan seem to have developed a a remedy to his long standing central headache. Ernest Danso and Jerry Akaminko were obviously the best pair in their last game and looked possible for the final onslaught, whilst the bench of the Ghanaians has never lacked any calibre of material in times of need.
Tactically, the Ghanaians look superior and can silence the Gambians for the second time and are well motivated than their opponents in terms of winning bonuses.
While the Starlets will earn 2000 dollars each as winning bonuses, the Young Scorpions according to information reaching the GNA Sports are entitled to 300 dollars each as bonuses but will have to take consolation in the continued flow of donations pouring at their doorstep each day.
However, one of the factors that will play a key role in the game is the presence of the huge home crowd coupled with expected attendance of high profile dignitaries including the Gambian President, Alhaji Yahaya Jammeh for the final game.
Coach Duncan will therefore need an extra ordinary psyching on his boys to overcome this, but coach Osam Doudou says it has nothing to do with their victories since it rather puts pressure on his boys. The stakes look high but all seem to favour Ghana on both sides.
A win for Ghana will see them keeping the "Ydnekatchew Tessana" trophy for keeps whilst a win for Gambia will ensure that the name of Osam Doudou, a Ghanaian goes into history as the first coach to lead the West African country achieve its first major glory on the continent.