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15.05.2005 Football News

Gambia'05: Ghana play Cote D'Ivoire in semis

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(William Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent Banjul, Gambia, courtesy Slok Air)

Banjul, Gambia, May 15, GNA - The National Under-17 Team, the Black Starlets will on Tuesday lock horns with their Ivorian counterparts, the Young Elephants in the first semi final game of the Six Africa Under-17 tournament in Gambia.

The Starlets who topped group A with superior goal aggregate over host nation, The Gambia, after both sides amassed six points from the group stages are billed to meet their Ivorian counterparts at the main venue of the event, the Independence Stadium in Bakao with kick off time at 17:00 hours.

The Young Elephants on the other hand reached this stage after placing second behind South Africa. Having won their first two games against Zimbabwe and Nigeria with 2-0 and 3-2 scores respectively, the Ivorian's dropped to second position after losing their last group game against South Africa at the Serakunde West Mini Stadium on Saturday to pave the way for another all West African tie on Tuesday.

Starlets coach, David Duncan has already declared that he is ever ready for any of the sides in the competition saying, "We must face the best side if we want to be the best".

According to coach Duncan, he has had the opportunity of watching each of the teams in the competition and has got a fair idea of their game patterns and will map out the appropriate strategy for them.

The Starlets since their lone goal victory over The Gambia have regained their confidence and seemed poised for action.

This follows their advancement to the semi final stage of the competition as well as the payment of 1,000 dollars as winning bonuses for their victory over the Gambia. However, the match between the two neighbouring sides is expected to rekindle the rivalry between them at the continental level.

The Ivorians have in recent times accounted for the exit of Ghana from two major international competitions, the World Under-20 Championship staged in Qatar and an impending one to be held in Holland this year.

The match therefore provides the Starlets the opportunity to seek revenge on behalf of their seniors as well as secure their tickets to the World Under-17 Tournament to be staged in Peru later this year. 15 May 05

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