The points factor

14 years ago

For Fred Osam Duodu, flattering and high scoring results do not matter to him but what indeed he hopes to amass at group stage of the African U-17 Championship is the points.

The Ghana coach led the Black Starlets to record a comfortable 3-1 win in their opening Group B game against Burkina Faso on Sunday in the 7th edition of the bi-annual showpiece for players below the age, 18.

Ghana’s west rivals, Nigeria placed in the same group with the Black Starlets pounded Eritrea 8-0 in the second group meet to send them top of the table in Group B.

However, that result hasn't dampened the spirit of the veteran coach who is seeking to secure Ghana a third title and also enter the history books of the competition as the first coach to win a the championship back-to-back.

Fred Osam Duodu guided Gambia’s youth side to win the last edition of the championship in 2005. But this time round, he is holed up in Ghana’s dugout in their quest to secure a treble.

And ahead of Ghana’s second group game against Eritrea, Fred Osam Duodu says they are not getting carried away after watching their the opponents for Wednesday’s game pick the ball eights times from the sticks.

“We are taking every match as it comes in its strength. We are not going to be complacent after seeing them (Eritrea) lose heavily.

“My boys are going to play it just like another game,” Osam Duodu said.

A win for Ghana - two-time African and World Champions, would enhance their chances of qualifying for the FIFA Under-17 tournament that will be held in South Korea this summer.

“The most important thing is to win and secure the three points. At this stage of the competition, winning is the main agenda. It’s not about how many goals you score but the points you pick at the group stage.”

Ghana, silver medallist in the last edition of the competition are in the hunt for a third African U-17 title as team coach, Fred Osam Duodu is seeking a second successive crown at the same competition would continue on Wednesday when the Black Starlets play their second group game against Eritrea in Kegue.