Maidens determined to march on

11 years ago

Reaching the quarter-finals is the furthest Ghana have come in three attempts at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup but coach Mas-ud Didi Dramani feels his side can go even further.

The Black Maidens come up against Japan on Friday with either side looking at securing a semi-final berth after the final whistle in Baku.

After a difficult opening day 3-2 defeat to Germany, the Black Maidens bounced back with a 5-0 mauling of Uruguay before beating China PR 2-0 to finish as runners up in Group D to the Germans.

However, Dramani is confident that his Black Maidens can edge the Little Nadeshiko, who are the tournament’s top goalscorers and are yet to pick the ball out of their own net to the last-four ticket.

“I think the Japan side is technically good, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have weaknesses. They have been fortunate not to play sides that look so strong, such as the likes of a Germany, China or Ghana, but I think we’ve gone through that process and we’re very ready for the Japan game. We’re composed and I think we’ll be ok,” the Black Maidens coach said ahead of the game.

Dramani knows that their work is clearly cut out and admits that the challenge will certainly be greater.

“I think the Japanese will not play as defensively as China, they look more silky and when playing a side who is technically good it’s better to restrict the ball carrier and the options around them, which hopefully is what we’re going to do.”

The Ghana coach is counting on the likes of his team's leading scorer, Jane Ayieyam, who has four goals from three matches to reproduce their class.

“Tactically we will have to play as a team, but we have striking individual players also and I think that is the hallmark of a good side, plus physically I think we look better,” he said.

The winner of the clash meet France in the semi-finals.