Last Tuesday, Medeama SC earned their first win of the ongoing CAF Confederation Cup with a 3-1 victory over Young Africans of Tanzania to revive their continental aspirations which had, until Tuesday, been rather disappointing, even though there had been high hopes when the club reached the group stage of the competition.
As Ghana’s remaining representative in continental football, Medeama’s cause had become a national affair and their performance has assumed national importance. Thus last Tuesday’s win was very significant, as it gave the Tarkwa-based side a glimmer of hope that there is still light at the end of the tunnel, having jumped to second position in Group A behind continental giants T.P. Mazembe of DR Congo but with the same points as third-placed M.O. Bejaia of Algeria.
It is very heartening to note that Medeama’s technical handlers remain optimistic that they could fight their way to the semi-final stage by defeating the group’s toughest side, Mazembe, when they clash in their next game at the Sekondi Stadium at Essipon on August 14.
That confidence being expressed by Head Coach Prince Owusu and the club’s Technical Director, Evans Adotey, is heartwarming, as it suggests they are not ready to give up the fight yet.
Coach Owusu, in an interview with this paper, indicated that he was focusing less on the Ghana Premier League in order to channel all their energies into the Confederation Cup because of their bright prospects. And their performance in the domestic competition has been impressive, save yesterday’s 0-1 home loss to Aduana Stars.
In fact, Medeama’s next game is a must-win, but they must brace for a tough fight against Mazembe, against whom the Ghanaians lost 1-3 in Lubumbashi last month.
While the star-studded Congolese are five points clear of Medeama and have technically qualified for the next round of the competition, the Ghanaians should not expect their opponents to surrender the three points at stake without a fight. And having beaten Medeama in the first leg in Lubumbashi, Mazembe, who parade not less than five Ghanaian players, will be confident going into the match.
In the coming days, the team’s technical handlers must ensure that the players remain focused on their semi-final target and use the Premier League to fine-tune the side ahead of their last two continental assignments, particularly the Mazembe game at Essipon.
It is also the expectation of the Graphic Sports that the club’s management and corporate sponsors, Gold Fields Ghana Limited, will put resources together to clear any outstanding salaries and bonuses for the playing body and technical handlers to psyche them up for the remaining matches.