The Black Starlets of Ghana will renew rivalries with the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria in the opening match of the 2022 WAFU B U-17 Cup of Nations on Saturday.
Coach Samuel Fabin’s outfit would push for a revenge after losing on penalties to Nigeria in September 2018 in the WAFU B U-17 Cup of Nations in Togo.
Although little is known about the teams at this level, matches between both sides have always been difficult following a long-standing rivalry between Ghana and Nigeria. The last meeting between the Black Starlets and the Golden Eaglets ended 1-1 but Nigeria won 3-1 on penalties to pull through.
The Starlets will be aiming for a bright start to the campaign on Saturday to put themselves in a good stead – with Togo lurking on Match Day Two. With the tournament being held in Ghana, the players expect a full house to spur them to victory but that wouldn’t come cheap as they need to work their socks off to beat Nigeria.
Ghana have been on fire in their preparatory games – going 11 matches without defeat with the last win being a 2-1 victory against Group B side Niger but that immaculate long run would be put to test at the Cape Coast stadium on Saturday.
The Starlets have won the Africa U-17 Cup of Nations twice (1995, 1999) but have struggled to impress at the continental level in recent times with their last appearance in Africa dating back to 2017 when Ghana finished second after a 1-0 loss to Mali in the finals.
With that in mind the team has an opportunity to break the five-year jinx on home soil by clinching a slot in the TotalEnergies Africa U-17 Cup of Nations slated for Algeria in 2023. The onus now lies on captain Collins Agyemang and his colleagues to make a name for themselves and to make that dream a reality.
Nigeria is a powerhouse in Youth football on the African continent and the West African sub-region having clinched two African titles (2001, 2007) and finished 4th in the last edition in Tanzania 2019. Coach Nduka Ugbade has set his eyes on the ultimate but should go past a tough hurdle against host Ghana for the dream to come alive.
The epic encounter is scheduled for 4:00pm kick off at the Cape Coast Stadium on Saturday.
Ghana will then face Togo in their second game on Friday, June 17, 2022 at same venue.