Satellites play Egypt in first fixture

11 years ago

Sellas Tetteh is no stranger to the Africa U-20 Championship. He was the last coach to have led Ghana to the title four years ago in Rwanda.

This week, he arrived with his Black Satellites squad in Ain Pemouchent in Algeria for the start of the continental Championship aware of the level of expectation following past successes.

The competition gets underway on Saturday for Ghana with a Group A match against Egypt.

Past successes and Ghana's quality makes them one of the Cup favourites as they chase their fourth title but Sellas is quick to make it clear that his team do not have the upper hand ahead of the start of the eight-team tournament.

“That is okay for others and those who choose to look at it that way but we certainly don’t see it like that at all. All teams here have equal chances of winning and we will not approach any match thinking we are favourites. Yes we have prepared well, yes we know our strengths and we are ready to give it our best and God willing and all else going our way, we would like to succeed” said Tetteh

The opening fixture against a formidable Egyptian side could go a long way in defining their ambitions in Algeria as Sellas plots Ghana's - three-time winners (1993, 1999 and 2009) - campaign.

“We know a bit about Egypt but for sure they are a good side, that passes well and are technically sound. Part of our preparation has been on mental strengthening and as coaching staff we have drilled the boys on mental toughness which l know will be a factor in this tournament,” he said.

Sellas believes a good start will set them up well for the remaining matches in the group against Benin and hosts, Algeria on Friday, March 22.

“You want to make the fewest mistakes and take your chances in the opening match. A good start sets you up well and in our group there is also the tough match against the hosts. In our case we meet Algeria in the last Group game and hopefully by then we will not be worrying about qualification at that stage. As hosts, they have the home support and have had long period to prepare so usually hosts do well and you don’t want to play them in last group match needing a win to make semis,” the Ghana coach added.

The eight-team finals will see the top four teams qualifying to represent Africa at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey.