(A GNA Preview by Veronica Commey)
Accra, Nov 18, GNA - That the National U-17 soccer team, the Black Starlets would on Sunday be confronted with a must win situation to keep the country's hope of participating in the highly-missed age competition slated for next year in The Gambia is the reality, but as to whether they can sustain the new wind started by Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko remains the question.
Come Sunday, when the Starlets line-up against their Tunisian counterparts for the first leg of the next African U-17 Championship qualifier at the Garden City, the team which have been together for almost five months would have the task to succeed from where their two predecessors failed and again to keep alive the seemingly recent renaissance the nation is enjoying in soccer.
The coach, David Duncan and his boys are expected to draw total inspiration and support from the ever friendly Kumasi fans and who would undeniably have every good reason to overpower the North Africans to bring back the long missing smiles that had been associated with the team's success story at such levels.
With the team already buoyed with confidence following the extent of training they have been through, one can only hope that the Starlets would quickly expunge the impression they conceived about the strength of their opponents whilst participating as "observers" in The Gambian organized competition that the Tunisians fared badly earlier in the year.
The reality is that since the Starlets team four months back would naturally be entirely different from today's, a result of the level of transformation they have been through, it would be wrong on anybody's part to still expect the Tunisians to be the supposed "pushovers" as it was in the Gambia competition.
Again, knowing the stakes involved in Sunday's duel, it would be imperative to credit the visitors with some level of intelligence to have done their home work well and even embark on a possible shake up which would champion their success knowing the pedigree of Ghana in the globular leather.
But all said and done, victory simply cannot be beyond the Ghanaians if they approach the match with the right attitude, hard work, determination, the desire to cave a name for themselves and their ability to play to instructions.
Knowing coach Duncan's tactics and what he stands for, in between players like skipper Emmanuel Ansong, David Telser and Sadat Bukari among others lie the strength and capability of them to laugh all the way to a resounding victory come Sunday.
The need to record a cricket score capable of ending the Tunisian' dream even before the return leg which is billed for Tunis must be the prime factor, if what history has taught us with regards to expected tricks from the North Africans in such games is anything to go by.
The Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars have exactly what it takes to continue from where Hearts and Kotoko left off last weekend and the hour could not have been any further than now!