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PREVIEW: Black Starlets take on Burkina Faso in make-or-break WAFU semi-final clash on Saturday

2 weeks ago

The National Under-17 team of Ghana, the Black Starlets, will face off with Burkina Faso in what promises to be a make-or-break encounter in the semi-final of the WAFU Zone B Under-17 championship on Saturday.

The game will kick off at 17:00GMT at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium.

This showdown carries what some have described as the weight of revenge for the Black Starlets whilst others see this encounter as the opportunity for Burkina Faso to repeat their previous victory over the Starlets.

The two nations familiar with each other, as Burkina Faso secured a memorable win over Ghana in the semi-finals of the 2022 edition of the tournament.

With memories of that defeat fuelling their drive, Ghana is poised to turn the tables and secure a spot in the U17 AFCON, a feat they haven't accomplished since 2017.

Black Starlets Coach Laryea Kingston has downplayed calls for revenge against Burkina Faso, insisting, it’s not part of their plans.

“Revenge? No! That’s not what we are thinking about,” he said after the team’s last training session at the Accra Sports Stadium.

“We have not been to the AFCON after our last appearance in 2017 and so we have a responsibility to return to the tournament. We are playing Burkina Faso and we’ll approach it as one of the games requiring a different mentality but not because we want revenge.

“We know this is a most important game of this WAFU Tournament for us and we have to give everything for it. But we are certainly not going for revenge,” he added.

The Black Starlets have been incredible in the current tournament, showcasing their prowess by clinching victories in all two of their matches and netting an impressive total of 7 goals while conceding only one to top their group.

Burkina Faso, finished as runners-up in Group B, trailing behind Nigeria. With a solid defensive foundation and a knack for capitalizing on opportunities, Burkina Faso's journey to this stage has been marked by resilience and relevant strategy. Their three goals scored with clean sheets maintained speak volumes about their quality as they eye another shot at glory.

As the two teams prepare to clash on the field, all eyes will be on the coaches, who are tasked with steering their respective sides to victory.

While both teams boast of good defensive organisation, Ghana has proven to be  a high-scoring team that has averaged 3 goals per game in their last two games.

For Ghana and Burkina Faso, this isn't just another game—it's a defining moment that will determine their fate in the quest for U17 AFCON qualification.