Friday, October 16, 2009

Ghana out to make history at U20

Ghana have the chance to make history on Friday when they take on Brazil in the final of the Under-20 World Cup.

The Black Satellites and their Nigerian counterparts have both been runners-up twice, but no African team has ever gone on to win the event. Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh firmly believes it is time for that to change. "Africa will win the tournament and Africa will change that trend," he said the day before the game. "An African player has scored 8 goals at the tournament (Ghana's Dominic Adiyiah) and that has never happened before."

Standing in their way are a Brazil team who are the second most prolific goal scorers in the competition, behind Ghana. "I look at a team holistically. I take any member of the team seriously. I don't like to pinpoint individuals," Tetteh said. "They are wonderful, very skilful, technically sound, fast on the ball - so composed, such a high scoring side and especially a team to beat!" The difference between the two sides is in the number of goals they concede. Where Ghana have let in eight goals, Brazil's defence has been breached only three times in the whole tournament.

Brazil coach Rogerio says that is down to the organisation of his whole side. "From the beginning, the main goal was to achieve balance between the whole team," he said. "The defence is working that well because the team is balanced and working as well in other areas of the pitch." Brazil have won this event four times, compared to their great rivals Argentina's six. But Sellas Tetteh thinks this is the time for Africa to win for the first ever time, as the continent hosts three global tournaments in 10 months. "It is a massive tournament, it's like the tournament is being staged in our country," he said when asked about the reaction back home in Ghana. "Getting this far, people have a lot of focus and tomorrow we need to bring joy to the country and to the continent.

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