4 November 2017

Ghana Wary of Kenya's Attack in Under 20 WC Qualifier

Ghana coach Yusuf Basigi has confessed to studying video clips of the Kenya ahead of their 2018 Fifa Under-20 Women's World Cup qualifier.

The match is scheduled to kick off at 6pm (Kenyan time) at the Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday.

Speaking to Ghanaian media on Friday, Basigi identified attack as Kenya's chief strength, meaning that the Harambee Starlets juniors should expect well prepared opponents in today's match.

Basigi guided the Black Princesses to a scintillating 10-0 whitewash of Algeria in the previous round of qualifiers, and has expressed intent on clinching one of the two slots reserved for Africa in the 16-team World Cup.

"I respect our opponent very much and we shall not be complacent. I have watched excerpts of their game with Ethiopia and I know that they have a solid frontline," Basigi said.

The Harambee Starlets junior team indeed have their strengths in attack, the domain of senior team player Corazon Aquino and talented Gentrix Shikangwa, who are regulars on the score sheets whenever the team is on assignment.

Kenya coach Musa Otieno will however have to do without the services of seven key players who were unable to join the team for training as they were preparing for the their Kenya Certificate of Secondary School examinations.

"That is a very crucial game. If you look at Ghana, you'll find that they are regular participants in such competitions. They have been to the last two editions of the World Cup. It is definitely going to be a tough match but I believe it is all about good strategy, a suitable game plan and good preparations," said Otieno, who also doubles up as the senior men's national team assistant coach.

This will be Kenya's third round of qualifiers in the global competition scheduled for August next year in France, while the Black Princesses will be out for only the second time having been given a bye in the first round.

If Kenya makes it out alive in the two-legged affair against Ghana, they will face either Cameroon or Morocco in the final stage of qualification.

Kenya is trying for a debut in the 16-team international competition, while Ghana is looking to make a fifth appearance at the junior World Cup showpiece where Africa is guaranteed of only two slots.

The Harambee Starlets junior team have enjoyed good fortune in the course of qualification, as they cruised to a scintillating 7-1 victory over Botswana two months ago at the Lobatse Stadium in Botswana in the first round of qualifiers.

The Zebras of Botswana pulled out immediately after this match citing lack of adequate finances, thereby giving Kenya direct entry into this second round.

Kenya thus gained easy passage into the tournament's first round against Ethiopia whom they beat 4-3 over two legs in September.


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