The local Black Stars have a hurdle to surmount in the Ivorian capital of Abidjan today when they take on their counterparts in the second leg of the CHAN qualifier.
We have almost lost hope of the team surviving in today’s match following the narrow 2-1 in Kumasi a fortnight ago, knowing that away games in African competitions are often herculean tasks.
However, we can muster some courage to throw our weight behind the team to go all the way with the kind of surety being touted by the technical director of Ghana football, Coach Oti Akenten.
Indeed, Mr Akenten is cocksure that the local Stars can make it to the African Championship at the expense of their Ivorian counterparts in spite of the tricky nature of the assignment, and it is a prediction that many Ghanaians will expect to come to pass.
The coach of the team, Maxwell Konadu, has expressed similar hopes. But could he have said anything to the contrary as the main man in charge?
We believe the local Stars would not have found themselves in this dicey situation had Coach Konadu been a bit more circumspect with the team’s preparation for the first leg match.
We are at pains to recall that at the time preparation for that match needed the fullest of concentration by the technical team, the head coach had the luxury to join the Black Stars in the US for a friendly international match against Canada.
What went into that decision still beats our imagination, since that friendly could still have been handled by Avram Grant, the substantive coach of the Stars, without the assistant, Konadu.
Some would say that is history and we must focus on the task at hand now, which we agree. But our concern is about the precarious situation we find ourselves now when just a 1-0 win by the hosts will end our CHAN hopes.
This should not happen and it is up to Coach Konadu to pull all the tricks under his sleeves to survive the onslaught from his opponents and come out triumphant.
For, it will be a major setback for the local Stars to be absent at the CHAN in Rwanda next January and in the unlikely event of that happening the head coach cannot escape blame. We wish him and his charges the best of luck.