Egypt and Ghana set for AYC final showdown

Orange CAF U-20

 Egypt and Ghana will play in the final of the 2013 Orange CAF U-20 Championship on Saturday at Ahmed Zabana stadium in Oran, Algeria.


According to the Confederation of African Football (CAF ) on its website, the Young Pharaohs go into the match as favourites after notching four straight wins including an opening 2-1 victory over same opponents, Ghana two weeks ago.


Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh was at pains dispelling the suggestions that the Black Satellites will be seeking revenge.  “ It worries me when l hear such talk about being motivated by revenge, and wanting to get back at Egypt for that loss in the first game. That match is in the past and our approach to the final is not based on a need to even things or any such intention. We are in a final and will play to win, regardless of what has happened before. “ said Tetteh

Tetteh’s counterpart, Rabie Yassine said he would be expecting a challenging encounter with Ghana but he too will not be dwelling on the result from their last meeting. “First of all, we have a lot of respect for Ghana and their football but we are ready to face them on Saturday and l have been working on my team and concentrating on what we need to do to win.  We want to make our own history, we have our destiny in our own hands and I believe we can win this tournament. We are capable, we have what it takes to win,” Yassine said.

When the sides met last time Ghana created more scoring chances but Egypt were more efficient with theirs and thus carried the day. According to coach Yassine his side will strike a balance between offensive and defensive play but will definitely take the game to the opposition and continue with the style and combinations that has served the side well so far. “We have done our homework on Ghana and hopefully my boys will again execute the game plan the coaching staff will set like they have done so well so far. We will play our football on the pitch and yes after the match l will say more too and by then God willing l will talking as a winner then” concluded Yassine

Both coaches are hoping a have a clean bill of health but admitted they have some waiting to do on some key players currently nursing injuries. The Egyptian captain Rami Rabea will have to pass a late fitness test on his injured ankle but coach Yassine is hopeful he will have his captain on the field. Rabea scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against the host nation, Algeria and has been a vital cog in Egyptian side. Meanwhile coach Tetteh is hoping that Derrick Mensah will recover in time to be considered for selection.

Sellas Tetteh famously engineered Ghana U-20’s finest year in 2009 leading the side to the African Youth Championship in Rwanda before Ghana won the FIFA U-20 World Cup held in Egypt in 2009 to become the first African side to do so. “By God’s grace we shall see how the final goes but l believe this one is for us, they had theirs in the first game. We have come very far and we are looking forward to this match. These boys do need any more motivation than being in the final. That alone is self-motivation enough to have made it this far , so we are going to work very hard to overcome and we are in high spirits, so God willing we shall be victorious.” Tetteh said

Both Ghana and Egypt currently have three African U-20 Championship titles each so the winner will move onto four (4) which is tow behind record holders Nigeria with six. The final match will be played at Ahmed Zabana stadium in Oran, Algeria and kick off is 17h30 local time