The Black Galaxies of Ghana has arrived in Abuja ahead of the 2023 Africa Nations Championship (CHAN) qualifier against Nigeria.
The second leg encounter will take place at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Saturday, September 3, 2022 at 16:00hrs GMT. Ghana defeated the home-based Super Eagles of Nigeria 2-0 in the first leg played last weekend at the Cape Coast Stadium.
Hearts of Oak duo, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh and Seiju Suraj, scored both goals for the Black Galaxies to ensure they pick the maximum points. Ghana failed to qualify for the last three editions of the competition despite having a good record at the CHAN tournaments.
The Black Galaxies have twice been to the finals of the competition meant for only home-based players, losing in 2009 to the Democratic Republic of Congo in the inaugural edition before losing to Libya on penalty shootouts in 2014. On their part, the home-based Super Eagles failed to qualify for the last edition of the competition.
Coach Annor Walker hopeful of Ghana’s qualification
Ahead of the crucial encounter, Ghana coach, Annor Walker, is optimistic of his team making it to the competition next year at the expense of Nigeria. Walker believes the Black Galaxies will defeat Nigeria again in Abuja to secure qualification.
“In fact, since I have seen the way they play, we will also strategize for it and when we get to Nigeria, it will be a different strategy that we will use to approach the game. We are not coming back such that we will not be able to qualify, we are going to Nigeria and for sure, we will qualify for CHAN next year”.Annor Walker
Meanwhile, Ex-Ghana international, Yaw Preko, urged the Black Galaxies to play collectively as a team and forget about individual glory. He warned the Galaxies “to make sure we don’t concede” by defending very well.
Nigeria to approach the match with a different mentality
Meanwhile, Super Eagles B head coach, Salisu Yusuf, said his side will approach the game against Ghana with a different energy and mentality at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Saturday. Yusif is confident his side will put up a good performance to overturn the 2-0 deficit and qualify ahead of rivals, Ghana.
“What is past is past and that is the case with the match we played in Ghana. Now, we are looking forward to a good match on Saturday.
“We are doing all we need to do to achieve our utmost desire; to be in Algeria next year. There may have been one or two lapses that caught us on the bad end in Cape Coast but we can’t continue to dwell on that. We want to achieve a good result on Saturday.Salisu Yusuf
Coach Salisu Yusuf hinted that “It is going to be more like 88 to 90 percent of the team we presented in Ghana last Sunday” because some of players picked up injuries during the first leg and may not recover fully to feature in the return leg.
The winner on aggregate over the two-legged encounter will earn a place at the CHAN 2023 tournament to be hosted early next year in Algeria.
The DRC and Morocco are the most successful teams with two CHAN titles each while Libya and Tunisia have one each. Ghana and Mali are the only teams to have made it to the finals twice without winning.