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Sports News
AYC Final Preview: Ghana Ball Jugglers Tipped For Third Crown 1/31/2009

Ghana and Cameroon go head-to-head in the final of the African Youth Championship on Sunday. Goal.com’s African correspondent Samm Audu previews the clash.

Their smooth style of passing will make Ghana the favourites against their Cameroonian counterparts in Sunday''s final of the African Youth Championship in Rwanda.

This will be a clash between the passing style of Ghana and Cameroon''s raw power and endeavour.

Ghana have won the competition twice - in 1993 and 1999 - while Cameroon have been triumphant once - in 1995 - when Nigeria staged the tournament.

The Black Satellites of Ghana have played the best football in Rwanda and at the same time achieved the results that have taken them all the way to the championship game.

Both teams cancelled each other out with a 1-1 draw in the group stage of the tournament. The Cameroonians went in front before Dede Ayew rescued the game for the Black Satellites in the first half.

And now, with a lot more at stake in this re-match, it would be wrong to expect a similar outcome as a winner must emerge on Sunday.

Ghana coach Sellas Tetteh also holds this belief.

"The final will be a different ball game. We played some good football in the first game but did not get the result we deserved," said Tetteh.

"Cameroon are strong, fit, and well conditioned but not technically sound. They are also strong in the air and have got better with each game but we can overcome them with skilful play."

Tetteh''s youngsters looked unstoppable against another sleek-playing side, the Amajita of South Africa, in the semi-final. The result of that entertaining clash was a seven-goal thriller won by the Ghanaians.

In the Ghanaian team, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu and fellow striker Ransford Osei have caught the eye. Badu has earned praise from the coach of Ghana''s full international team, Milovan Rajevac, while Osei is the leading scorer in the tournament with five goals.

The Israel-based striker has also shown that when he is not scoring, he can turn provider.

Abedi Pele''s son was outstanding against the Junior Lions from Cameroon, but said now that result was all that matters in the final.

“We are not looking to play well, just to win,” said Andre Ayew, who is on loan to Lorient from fellow French club Olympique Marseille. “This is the final so it’s not about good football. We will play like Ghana but that is not the most important thing.

"The most important thing is to put the ball in the net. This is not a league game, it’s not a group stage match, and it’s the final of a major competition. It''s not the team that plays well that will win but the team that scores.

“The game might be determined by the little details. It might be settled on someone’s mistake or a moment of loss of concentration by one of the teams.”

Cameroon coach Alain Wabo has promised to frustrate their highly rated opponents on the way to victory.

“We will be champions again after teaching Ghana some lessons, because I know how they play and I have studied all their video tapes,” he boasted. "They play like Nigeria and we know how deal with those tactics.”

In Cotonsport of Garoua’s attacking duo, Brice Owona and Jacques Zoua Daogari, Cameroon have two deadly finishers, who have shown they can convert even half chances. That was the case against Nigeria in the semi-final, when the lanky Zoua Daogari got to the end of a low cross to set Cameroon on the road to victory.

Hard running Germain Massina ''Tiko'' also showed class against Nigeria, not just with his opportunistic goal, but also his whole-hearted endeavour throughout out the encounter.

Cameroonian teams have over the years proved their mental toughness at such crucial stages of competitions, like a final, and so it would be risky to dismiss their chances of staging an upset on Sunday.
Source:Samm Audu, Goal.com


 
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