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17
Sun, Dec

Kumasi fans to cheer Stars B to victory

Black Stars B players are confident of qualifying for the 2018 CHAN

Kumasi fans, known for their loyalty towards the Black Stars A, are set to extend the same massive support to the Black Stars B tomorrow when they clash with Burkina Faso at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi in a return leg of the Total 2018 African Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier.

The interest in the game has peaked just in time following Assistant Coach, Maxwell Konadu’s appeal on radio for massive support to enable them to ‘wipe off’ their opponents.

Coach Konadu’s optimism ahead of the game is high, following the 2-2 drawn first leg result in Ouagadougou last week. However, he is worried about two things.

First is the likely absence of defender Awal Mohammed who got injured last Wednesday while featuring for Kotoko in an FA Cup match, as well as the intermittent lack of concentration by his charges.

The lack of concentration which nearly cost the team in the first leg still persists, but Konadu and his boss Kwasi Appiah have psyched up the players with just 24 hours to the game.

Coach Konadu said if the players could concentrate for 90 minutes, victory was assured to seal Ghana’s qualification to the Kenya tournament.

Ghana only needs to avoid a high-scoring draw or a win to pick one of three tickets from West Zone B for Kenya 2018.

The spirit in camp has been high since the team’s arrival in Kumasi last Monday against the backdrop of a $1,500 each qualification bonus promised by the government.

Although the bonus represents a 50 per cent reduction from the previous one in line with a new government policy, the players are content with it.

The motivation for the home-based players, however, is to make it to the continent’s second biggest platform in Kenya to market themselves towards a possible move to Europe. The money, for most of them, is not an issue.

After missing out on the last edition in Rwanda, Coach Appiah is poised to lead his talented squad to Kenya and improve on the achievements of 2009 and 2014.

Ghana, one of the pioneers of the maiden CHAN competition in 2009, made it to the first final but lost 0-2 to a well-drilled DR Congo side built around Tresor Mabi Mputu.

And in 2014, another Ghanaian side, led by Maxwell Konadu, lost the trophy to Libya 3-4 on penalties.

The CHAN is reserved for players who feature in their domestic leagues in Africa.