U-23 AFCON qualifier: Meteors aim to upset Algeria

Author: Kwame Larweh
Michael Ose--Meteors assistant coach

Ghana’s Black Meteors of Ghana are optimistic of overcoming their initial setback to beat Algeria away on Tuesday to qualify for the 2019 U-23 Africa Cup of Nation (AFCON) to be staged in Egypt in December.

The Meteors must overcome an away goal advantage handed the Algerians after they held them to a 1-1 draw in the first leg clash in Accra last Friday, making tomorrow’s return fixture in Algiers very dicey.

Meteors assistant coach, Michael Osei, is not oblivious of the difficult challenge confronting his side but maintains that they will do everything within their power to get a good result away to guarantee them qualification to the AFCON.

"We are aware of how important the game is to Ghanaians and moreover to us. We will go and win there to qualify. They came with a mind to win in Ghana, so we will also go there with the same mentality. We are confident about ourselves and know with the right mentality we will win in Algeria," Coach Osei said.

He added that the Meteors’ technical team, headed by Ibrahim Tanko, had gained valuable insights into the Algerian style of pay and would adopt an effective strategy to neutralise their strengths and exploit their weaknesses.

"Playing with them has given us an idea about their style of play. We realise they are an attacking team, so we the technical team will adopt a plan to counter their approach," Osei stated.

Meteors captain, Yaw Yeboah, won Ghana’s two penalties on the day but wasted one before striker Dauda Mohammed converted the second spot kick for the equalising goal. Nonetheless, Yeboah, who plays for the second team of Spanish side Celta Vigo on a loan deal, says his teammates have not ruled out the possibility of qualifying.

"We the players are ready for the second leg. We will also go and surprise them at their stadium. We believe in our abilities and our qualities. Just as they came here to surprise us, we will also go and surprise them. The game will be played in two legs so one cannot use the outcome of one to conclude," the forward said confidently.