Ghana’s opening day defeat to Nigeria in the U20 WAFU B Championship was a hard lesson learnt, head Coach Abdul-Karim Zito admits, but dismissed suggestions that a comeback is near impossible.
Nigeria handed defending Champions Ghana a crushing 2-0 defeat, which puts their chances of reaching the semi final in doubt.
Goals from Ibrahim Muhammad and Ahmed Abdullahi in each half condemned Ghana and the Black Satellites must get a win in their next game to remain in contention for a spot at next year’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations.
Their next Group B game will be against Burkina Faso, who themselves will take on Nigeria, Wednesday, in their first game of the championship.
Speaking ahead of the make it mar fixture, Black Satellites coach, Zito admits that though Nigeria were the better team on the day, arriving Niamey only a few days to the first game didn’t help his players adapt well to the conditions.
He, however did talk up his team’s ability to turn the corner and get the desired outcome against Burkina Faso.
“We played well but were beaten by a better side. Nigeria settled well into the game and scored very early in the game,” the Ghana Coach said. “We also had good chances to score, but we didn’t take them.”
“The defeat to Nigeria won’t affect our chances of qualifying for the next phase. It was just the first game and not the last. So we are hopeful.”
In the build up to the Championship, the Black Satellites had won all three of their preparatory games, but the defeat to the Flying Eagles now cast doubts on the team’s quality, which Zito insists might be a hurried assessment.
“If you compare what happened in the past to what’s happening at the moment, then you might not be right.
“One of the things that affects performance is the weather. The weather is different from that of Ghana and it affected the players.
“That is why I commended Nigeria for coming early to adapt to the environment, and that’s what we didn’t do. Now we have to use the Nigeria game as preparatory game for the next one against Burkina Faso,” He concluded.
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