The Black Satellites boss talks about his team’s continental adventure in Mauritania ahead of Sunday’s climax
Ghana coach Abdul Karim Zito believes his players need to be spurred on by a rare opportunity to enter the nation’s football history books ahead of Saturday’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations final against Uganda.
On what will be Ghana’s national Independence Day, the Black Satellites will lock horns with the young Cranes at Stade Olympique in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott.
Ghana head into the game on the back of a 1-0 victory over Gambia in the semi-final. Uganda, meanwhile, handed Tunisia a 4-1 defeat to book a date in the climax.
“They [Ghana players] have an opportunity to make a name for themselves. They have an opportunity to write their names in Ghana’s history books. That should be their driving force when we go into the final,” Zito said, as reported by FootballmadeinGhana.
“We finished off third in our group but that did not affect us. We have gone on to show good performances from the quarters to the semi-final and that is because we had to change our attitude and approach games differently.
“We have a very strong mentality when playing and for us, this is a tournament and not a league. The most important thing is to win but for us we are trying as much as possible to add beauty to goal scoring. We want to have that mentality to win games and that has been the secret for the last two matches.
“Things are going positively for us and we are playing according to our plan. We will try to go into the final and win. When we came here, our target was to win the ultimate prize and now we are just one step away.
“I trust in the players that they have that edge to do it. I have been with some of them from Under-15 and I am not just a coach to them but a father and a friend. We have walked together in this journey and we will do so to the end.”
Ghana are looking to add a fourth title to their cabinet. In 1993, the Satellites won their first title, beating Cameroon in the final.
Hosts of the 1999 edition, the Satellites handed Nigeria a 1-0 defeat in the final to win the cup on home soil.
In 2009, Ghana, having won the sub-regional Wafu Zone B Cup, beat Cameroon once again to lift the trophy before going on to rule the world.