Africa: Satellites Skipper Optimistic ... to Win Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations Tournament

17 February 2021

Captain of the national Under-20 team, the Black Satellites, Daniel Afriyie Barnieh, says his side is determined to replicate the feat of the 2009 squad by winning the ultimate prize at the Africa Cup of Nations tournament ongoing in Mauritania.

The three-week tournament has Ghana drawn in Group C together with Morocco, Tanzania and The Gambia.

Ghana enters the tournament as WAFU Zone B champions and a lot would be expected from one of the successful sides in the tournament history especially after a dodgy patch of performance in the last five editions.

The Satellites cross swords with Tanzania in the opening game of Group C this afternoon, while Morocco entertain Gambia later in the day.

Speaking to Times Sports before their departure at the weekend, skipper Barnieh said he and his colleagues are full of confident ahead of the tournament and are well aware of the expectations they carry on their shoulders.

"My colleagues and I know what is at stake for us going into this tournament. It's been quite a while we put up a good showing at this championship, and we know what Ghanaians would be expecting of us."

He noted that like the WAFU Zone B tournament in Benin which they won, they would go into this tournament steadily and make every game count as they aim for the ultimate.

"We have our sight set on doing a double; that is adding the African trophy to that of the WAFU Cup, and we are going to stop at nothing to realise this goal."

According to him, their motivation sterns from the performance of the 2009 Andre Dede Ayew led Black Satellites that conquered West Africa, Africa and the world at large.

"Our ultimate desire is to match the feat of the 2009 squad, but sadly there would not be a World Cup. In spite of that, we have to aim at winning this tournament to appease ourselves and that is what we are all working at."

The Hearts of Oak winger, however, noted that their dreams would not come on a silver platter and that they have adopted the approach of going into every game as if it was the final game.

"Ghana has a history and every country that lines up against us play as if their lives are at stake and that makes the game very difficult for us. Having seen this, we are approaching each game as if it was the final game," he stated.

Ghana has been three times African champions at this level in 1993, 1999 and 2009 and the only African country to lift the Holy Grail at the World Championship in 2009 in Egypt.

More From: Ghanaian Times

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