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Sports News of Sunday, 28 March 2021


We achieved our goal with the 1-1 draw against South Africa – C.K. Akonnor

Black Stars head coach, Charles Komla Akonnor Black Stars head coach, Charles Komla Akonnor

Ghana Black Stars head coach, Charles Komla Akonnor says last Thursday’s 1-1 draw against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier was a mission accomplished game despite their failure to win the game.

The Black Stars and Bafana Bafana shared the spoils in their penultimate Group C fixture in Johannesburg, with Percy Tau cancelling out Mohammed Kudus’ 49th-minute opener in the 52nd minute.

The outcome has left both teams atop the table with Ghana booking their place at the next continental championship.

Speaking in a press conference, Coach C.K. Akonnor attributed the draw to team organisation.

“Going into the game, we knew what was expected of us. We knew the strength of the South Africans, how they would play and attack, so we were well prepared to play without the ball. Team organisation was key for us, we came here with the idea that if we could even go with a draw, we would be fine. We didn’t need to lose and we were able to achieve that”. Akonnor said

He admitted that even though his boys struggled when the game began due to the pressure mounted on them by the Bafana Bafana boys, they devised other means to deal with the pressure during the second half and to him, it worked perfectly.

“In the early minutes of the game, we struggled because we realized they came with a three-back and they put a lot of pressure on us. We weren’t ready for that. Slowly, we had to do a tactical change in the process of the game. We managed to go in the first half but intended the second half, we discussed a lot how we should approach the game and we were doing very well in that sense.”

The Black Stars have confirmed their place at the Africa Cup of Nations, Cameroon 2021 with a match to spare, South Africa on the other hand have it all to do when they engage third-placed Sudan, who sit just a point below, for a final showdown on Sunday.

“The captain Wakaso was able to do a lot of work, not just playing but of course organising the team. And so they showed a lot of character, good character. We came out with a draw which we are very happy about.” Akonnor added.

Ghana will host bottom-placed Sao Tome and Principe in their last match of the series in Accra on Sunday.