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31.05.2008 Football News

Go For It, Stars

By Andrew Nortey - newtimesonline.com
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The senior national football team, the Black Stars will begin another campaign to the 2010 FIFA World Cup and Africa Nations Cup in South Africa and Angola respectively with a home tie with the Greens of Lybia at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium tomorrow.

Coming barely five months after the Ghana 2008 finals hosted in Ghana, fans will expect a repeat of the continental fiesta that rocked the entire world and as homesters, the Stars appreciate the high expectation of the fans.

They would not only have to win to annex the three maximum points to mitigate their campaign but justify their reputation as the number one national team on the continent.

Heartily, they appear far ahead of the Libyans who are not regarded as one of the powerful forces in the continental game.

In terms of players available for both sides, Ghana are way ahead. But even in that position, the Stars, ahead of the clash, have expressed cautious optimism, perhaps, as a result of some sour lessons learnt in past qualifiers.

On several occasions, the Stars have watched their campaign to the two competitions jolted by unsung countries like Liberia, Uganda, Burundi and Algeria and though that jinx was broken in 2006, they will guard against a repeat.

This is the more reason why Coach Sellas Tetteh is leaving nothing to chance in the build up to the encounter which outcome will determine how they fare in the subsequent ones.

Unfortunately, he will play without first choice players like skipper Stephen Appiah and Asamoah Djan as a result of injuries while Kofi Amponsah and Matthew Amoah were excused for various reasons.

But that deficiency will not be experienced that much. In Michael Essien, Sulley Ali Muntari, Anthony Annan, Laryea Kingston, John Mensah and Eric Addo, Tetteh has on parade an assortment of tested performers who could unsettle any side.

And this is certainly what Tetteh, who has his eyes set not only on triumph but to make a claim for local coaches, will seek to ensure against a Lybian side that will adopt various strategies to frustrate the Ghanaians.

Despite the anticipated challenge from them, the Stars appear set to begin the journey on a good note and the Greens cannot stop them from shining.

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