Match: Ghana v Mali
Venue: Regional Stadium, Wellington
Time: 4am GMT
The city of Wellington will be painted with African colours when the Black Satellites take on Mali in the round of sixteen knockout game at the Fifa Under 20 World Cup on Wednesday.
At stake is a quarter final place and this will be the third meeting between the two sides within the space of three months. They faced each other twice in the African Under-20 Championship with each team claiming a victory each.
Ghana reached the knockout phase of this World Cup by topping their group with seven points. The Satellites did so by scoring five goals and conceding thrice.
The Malians on the other hand had to go through a finger-chewing casting of lots to determine whether they placed second or third. Although the Young Eagles lost the ballot and placed third after having identical results (points and goal difference) with Uruguay, the west Africans qualified as one of the best third placed teams.
The Young Eagles have scored three goals and conceded three up till this point.
Ghana Team News:
Sellas Tetteh is expected to have both Clifford Aboagye and Samuel Tetteh available after both suffered knocks in the game against Panama.
Ghana will however be without left back Patrick Asmah who received a second yellow card to render him ineligible for tomorrow’s tie.
Inter-Allies left back Patrick Kpozo is expected to replace him in the only change to the team that defeated both Argentina and Panama.
Tetteh is confident of his side’s chances ahead and feels his squad have braced themselves to face every challenge.
“We have prepared the boys to expect the challenges of the next stage, but I think we are capable of moving forward. We are very, very capable. We are going to work seriously towards that and we will see how it goes,” Sellas Tetteh said in an interview
“The game against Mali is going to be tough. They beat us in group stage during the Africa Youth Championship, and we also beat them for third place. This time around we have to beat them to prove we are better than them,” Cagliari midfielder, Godfred Donsah said ahead of the game on Wednesday.
Defender Patrick Asmah, who will not be available for selection after accumulating two yellow cards, says they are capable of winning.
“Playing Mali will be very difficult but I trust my colleagues to deliver because we have done it before.”
“We played this same team at the African Youth Championship in Senegal in March and we lost the first game but managed to beat them in the third place game so we can defeat them again.
Mali Team News:
Malian coach Fanyeri Diarra will have a full squad to choose from as he prepares for this game.
Lille striker Adama Traore who has scored two goals in the tournament is expected to provide the firepower upfront.
Adama Traore and goalkeeper Djigui Diarra are the new faces expected in the squad that last faced Ghana in Senegal.
Story by Ghana/Joy Sports/Kweku Arhin
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