Black Satellites Head Coach Abdul Karim Zito spoke to the media on Wednesday, after Ghana’s 1-0 win against rivals Nigeria at the ongoing WAFU Zone B Cup of Nations in Benin. Precious Boah’s 75th minute free kick secured the three points for Ghana and qualified the team to the semi-finals of the tournament. Here is what Coach Zito told the press after the game.
On beating Nigeria to qualify for the semi-finals
I am very, very happy for the win because tournaments of this nature, it’s not always about who played good football or who missed chances. Its about who scored. And that is what happened today. At the end of the day, the only chance I had, we utilized it. Just as my colleague (Nigeria Coach, Ladan Bosso Issa) said, the Nigerians had so many chances and wasted it. But we got one and scored and I am very happy that we qualified.
On plan for Cote D’Ivoire
We were fortunate to have watched Nigeria play Cote D’Ivoire, we missed the first thirty minutes of the game. But we were here when they played since we drew a bye. Yes, for now, I don’t have a problem thinking about qualification, they will have to fight to qualify so I think it will be a nice game. They will come at us just as Nigeria did today. For now, I’m not thinking of Cote D’Ivoire. I’m going home to rest and think of what to do next.
On physique of Nigeria and style of play
I think Nigerians have something that we (Ghanaians), don’t have and that is physique. When you look at the Nigerians, they are very tall and played a lot of long balls to their targets. So, I told my players to hold on to possession and use their speed and skills. The plan worked in some key situations. And of course, there were other situations that my team lacked ideas. But in all it was a good game and I am pleased to come out with a win.
On future of the Nigeria team
I think they are very good side. If they become patient with them and put the team together, they will look exciting. I can only wish them well for the future.
On red card to goal scorer Precious Boah
Yes, Boah is my everything in the team, he showed that today by scoring the only goal of the match. But he is out after the red card and there is nothing, we can do so I have started planning for the next game without him. Maybe he will return if we make it to the final since its two yellow cards.
On Philemon Baffuor's injury
For Philemon, he will be assessed by the Doctors and I think, between now and the next game, he will be fine to play.
On possible changes against Cote D’Ivoire
It depends on a few factors, like fatigue, mental toughness and the opponent. So, I can’t say much for now. I have to go back and asses the players before I plan for the next match. But definitely there will be a few changes to the team but its too early to know who will play against Cote D’Ivoire.