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02.11.2019 Football News

CAF U-23 AFCON: Ghana's Black Meteors Hoping To Leave Mark On Debut Outing

By Samuel Ekow Amoasi Appiah
CAF U-23 AFCON: Ghana's Black Meteors Hoping To Leave Mark On Debut Outing

Ghana’s Black Meteors will be seeking to qualify for the Olympic for the first time in over a decade, but first, they will have to face the wrath of seven other teams for one of the three slots for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Total U-23 Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019.

Finishing amongst the top three at the 8-22 November tournament will end a 15-year wait as far as the Olympics is concerned, a feat that would earn the present generation of players a place in Ghana’s football folklore.

For a nation that prides itself as the first African country to win football medal at the Olympics – bronze medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games – a feat that opened the doors for fellows Nigeria and Cameroon won gold in Atlanta 1996 and four years later in Sydney respectively.

Former Ghana captain Stephen Appiah led the Meteors at their last participation at the Olympics in 2004 in Athens, Greece; where he scored two goals in three games, with a team that included legendary forward Asamoah Gyan.

The West Africans failed to qualify for the subsequent edition in 2008 in Beijing when Nigeria edged them to the slot.

Since the introduction of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in 2011, to serve as at the continental qualifier for the Olympics, this is first time Ghana has qualified for the eight-team tournament.

After unsuccessful attempts, it was Ibrahim Tanko, a former Black Star forward who guided the Meteors to a first-ever qualification.

Journey to qualification
After seeing off Togo 5–2 on aggregate in the opening round of qualifiers, Ghana again brushed aside Gabon 4–0 before earning a surprise 2–1 aggregate win over Algeria, drawing 1-1 at home and beating the North African side 1-0 away to qualify.

The Meteors are drawn in a group of death, which has the host Egypt, Cameroon, and West African neighbors Mali

Ghana opens their campaign in Group against fellow debutantes Cameroon on 8 November, before wrapping up against Mali and host Egypt.