Stars poised to seal CHAN spot Preview

BY: Daniel K. Kenu
Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah
Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah

A late invitation handed to Accra Hearts of Oak’s Vincent Atinga appears to be what Coach Kwasi Appiah hopes would help seal Black Stars B’s leaking defence as the team move into top gear to annihilate Burkina Faso on Sunday at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi in a return leg of the 2018 Total Championship of African Nations (CHAN) qualifier.

The arrival of well-built Atinga, one of the Premier League’s outstanding players this season, should help ease the worries of coaches Appiah and his assistant, Maxwell Konadu, as they plot to jump the Burkina Faso hurdle to secure one of three slots from West Zone B for Kenya 2018.

The 2-2 drawn first leg game in Ouagadougou last week handed Ghana an advantage to qualify despite strong contention from group opponents, Nigeria, Benin, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire.

Having learnt lessons from the first leg, Assistant Coach Maxwell Konadu, remain optimistic that his charges would not going to be complacent and get the job done as expected on Sunday.

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Although the hype around the match has been low, team officials are hoping that come Sunday,  they can also enjoy the strong support Black Stars A enjoyed from fans in Kumasi against Ethiopia last June,  to propel the boys to deliver on their promise to qualify for the CHAN.

In a bid to draw crowds to the stadium, officials of the Stars have lined up promotional programmes on selected radio shows in Kumasi to hype the game. Team Manager, Edmund Ackah and some key players, including Kotoko skipper Amos Frimpong, will be the focal points in rallying support for the Stars.

For now though, the Ghanaian players appear psyched up and ready to make it to Africa’s second-tier competition reserved for players based on the continent and perhaps re-enact the feat chalked up by their predecessors who reached the final of the maiden CHAN in 2009 in Cote d’Ivoire and the 2014 tourney in South Africa.

Ghana failed to qualify for the last CHAN in Rwanda but coach Appiah is determined to lead the team to Kenya. He looks spoilt for choice as he picks his team around playmaker, Winful Cobbina, speedsters Emmanuel Gyamfi and Patrick Razak, enterprising midfielder Thomas Abbey and striker Sadick Adams.