Soccer News of Friday, 30 November 2012
Ghana will go into Saturday's African Under-17 Championship final qualifier against South Africa with confidence of marching to next year's finals.
It is widely accepted that the moment the Black Starlets won the first leg 3-2 against Shakes Mashaba's side at the Sinaba Stadium a fortnight ago, a return to the finals appeared on the cards.
Having won the first leg, the Black Starlets can expect a more exacting ordeal on Saturday when they face a South Africa team determined to upset the odds.
Paa Kwesi Fabin's side now hold the upper hand but the Ghanaian coach is not getting ahead of himself.
"I think it [first leg result] will play a part in determining how the second leg goes," the Ghana coach said ahead of the match at the Essipong Stadium.
"We lead from the first leg but are not through yet. Ghana must play well to avoid losing but we must also play very well to win."
To reach next year's Championship in Morocco will be a big achievement for Fabin, who is on his first national job after Ghana missed the previous Championship.
The former club coach believes qualification will be a big statement by Ghana to the other sides who will reach the finals.
"I am very optimistic about our chances and I am working hard to ensure we make it.
"It is very important to secure qualification and that will be a enough to tell the other teams that qualify that we are in it to compete."
Kick-off for the second leg fixture of the 3rd round qualifier is at 3:00pm.
Ghana leads the tie 3-2 from the first leg and the winner over the both legs will qualify for the 2013 African Under-17 Championship in Morocco.