Starlets up for the Zambian challenge
Black Starlets coach Frimpong Manso today challenged his players to build on their impressive performance from the first leg of their African U-17 Championship qualifying against Zambia, a fortnight ago.
Despite Ghana losing the tie 2-1 in Lusaka after the Junior Chipolopolos had taken a quick two-nil lead, the recovery of the Black Starlets that saw them reduce the deficit by a goal has encouraged Manso that his now boys can advance in the return game in Accra on Saturday.
Ghana hosts the Zambians at the Ohene Djan Stadium tomorrow in the crucial first round reverse game and need a good aggregate win to eliminate their opponents.
Frimpong Manso felt his side deserved more in the first leg, but he believes the Black Starlets could draw inspiration from their response in Lusaka and win the tie.
"Of course, we draw some useful lessons from our play back there [Lusaka] and we need to regroup and attack. They [Zambia] don't need to score but we have to. The idea is clear for everyone. They would be under no pressure but we have to hold the ball well and open them up," Frimpong Manso told www.ghanafa.org on Friday in Accra.
"This is a big stadium [Ohene Djan Stadium] and we are aware that it's their [players] first international before home fans. The training at the stadium has eased the pressure a bit and at a point in the early stages of the match, they would settle in well.
"We are down going by the results but we settled in well and came back into the picture after their two quick goals. At least we showed courage and I'm happy their mental strength."
And the coach has also urged his players to reach their top form and take their chances.
"They have a duty to perform but need to ensure that they execute the job when they are presented with opportunities. It eases the burden of trailing in a game of this nature."
The 2011 African Under-17 championship will be hosted by Rwanda.