Ghana coach upbeat about quarterfinal berth

2014-01-22 10:36

Ghana may have been far from stylish in their playing, but they still celebrated their entry to the African Nations Championship (Chan) quarterfinals.

Maxwell Konadu’s side sealed their entry into the last eight with a 1-0 win over Ethiopia in their final Group C match at the Free State Stadium last night.

They topped the group with seven points, two more than second-placed Libya.

“We did well,” said Konadu. “It’s not easy to arrive in a tournament and start playing right. What is important now is to go back and prepare well for our next match.”

The Black Stars have taken a pounding back home where Konadu has shown faith in his squad while some have criticised his selection of a “mediocre” team.

“We promised ourselves to get beyond the group stages. We’ve done our best and think that we’ve achieved something,” he said.

“People didn’t have belief in this team, but we’ve managed to get to the second-round phase.”

However, goal-scoring will be a main concern heading into their last-eight tie against the runners-up from Group D in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Ghana have scored just three goals from the same number of matches in the competition. Outside of Kabena Adusei’s 77th-minute winning penalty, they were otherwise lacklustre against the Ethiopians.

Konadu said: “For me, what we put in place won us the match. I’m not saying we’re too sharp in attack because the player we used [Seidu Bancey] was playing his first match and is warming himself to the tournament.”

Meanwhile, Ethiopia return home having finished last in the group with no points and no goals to show from their time in South Africa.

Coach Sewnet Bishaw said: “I’m not disappointed. This is our first appearance even though we made it to last year’s Africa Cup of Nations and have international experience.

“This tournament has not given the whole picture of the talent in the team,” he said.

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