Black Starlets ready for Benin
Black Starlets ready for Benin
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WAFU Zone B qualifiers: Starlets sure to surmount Benin challenge today

Today, Ghana’s Black Starlets will battle against Benin in a decisive match at the University of Ghana Stadium in Accra at 4pm. 

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This encounter will determine which team advances to the semi-finals of the ongoing WAFU Zone B under-17 championship.

The Starlets enter the game as clear favourites, bolstered by their impressive 5-1 victory over Côte d'Ivoire last Wednesday. This win has positioned them well in the tournament, while Benin, having lost their opening match 0-1 to Côte d'Ivoire, sits at the bottom of the table with no points.

For the Black Starlets, this match is more than just a step towards the semi-finals. It is a crucial opportunity to reclaim their prestigious credentials as former African and World champions. 

The team aims to secure a spot in the under-17 Africa Cup of Nations, a qualifying tournament for the next under-17 World Cup slated for Qatar next year.

Coach Laryea Kingston, who took over the Starlets last month, faces the challenge of meeting the high expectations of Ghanaian fans. 

After their commanding win last Wednesday, fans anticipate an even better performance against Benin. In a recent interview, Coach Kingston assured supporters that he had "what it takes to lead the team to glory," despite the inherent pressure of the job.

Today's game will be a significant test for Coach Kingston. To ensure success, he must address the defensive lapses and midfield weaknesses that were evident against Côte d'Ivoire. 

A tightened defence and a more accurate attacking front will be crucial for the Starlets to dominate Benin effectively.

Coach Kingston, 43, has emphasised the importance of focusing on one game at a time and cautioned against premature celebrations. 

"It’s too early to celebrate. For us, we are taking it one game at a time. It’s true that since 2017 we have not enjoyed what we are good at. Previously, our youth teams were very good. It’s something that Ghanaians are craving for," he said.

Benin, with nothing to lose, will likely aim to frustrate the Black Starlets. However, the Ghanaian team is expected to overcome this challenge and maintain their reputation as one of Africa's top youth sides.

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