The Black Stars B of Ghana will be at crossroads when they face Niger in the second semifinal of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations on Thursday evening at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Ghana topped Group A and despite losing their last match to Nigeria. The Black Stars B remain strong favourites to lift the coveted trophy having won the last edition of the WAFU Zone B tournament.
Maxwell Konadu in a post match interview after suffering defeat to Nigeria said:
“I think the game against Nigeria was a difficult one, but all the same I have to congratulate the boys for what they did even though we lost game, they played through a lot of difficulties.
“We have to congratulate Nigeria, they took their chances and played very well. It was a day, nothing really worked for us. We will go back, rest well and recover for Thursday and the semifinal.”
Niger on the other hand, were fortunate to qualify from Group B, particularly in their last match when they lost 2-1 to Benin. Despite the loss they still qualified for the final four, edging ahead of Senegal on head-to-head results (the Menas beat the Teranga Lions 2-1 last Friday) to join group winners Benin in the semis.
The winner of this semifinal will face either Benin or Nigeria in the final on Sunday, while the loser will play in the third-place playoff on Saturday.
Ghana have received a massive boost with the return of Thomas Abbey and Isaac Twum, who trained with the team yesterday.
Musah Nuhu who suffered injury in the first match is expected to be handed a starting role in today’s encounter.
Nigerien duo Mainassara Yahaya and Mahamadou Souley will miss the encounter against Ghana having been sent off in the last group match against Benin on Monday.
Ghana’s Probable Starting XI: Joseph Addo (GK), Samuel Sarfo, Vicent Atinga, Frimpoong Amos, Thomas Abbey, Felix Addo, Isaac Twum, Emmanuel Lomotey, Winful Cobbina, Gideon Waja, Stephen Sarfo
Niger’s Probable Starting XI: D Kassaly, D Lebne, G Adama, A Katkore, K Dankwae, A Adebayor,S Dela, Y Daouda, 23. M Boubacar, B Hainikoye, G. Hutmanu
Ghana and Niger have met in 11 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Black Stars boast an unbeaten record (10 wins, one draw) and have outscored their opponents 38 goals to four in the process.
Matches played: 11
Ghana wins: 10
Niger wins: 0
Ghana goals: 38
Niger goals 4
KICK OFF TIME: 18:00hrs GMT