It’s make or break for Chan’s Group C teams

2014-01-12 14:00

Ghana will provide the class and the Ethiopians the colour in the 2014 African Nations Championship (Chan) Group C matches in Bloemfontein.

The Black Stars are the perennial favourites in continental competitions.

Coach Maxwell Konadu has set the bar high and asked for nothing short of brilliance from his team.

They open the tournament against first-timers, Republic of Congo, at the Free State Stadium tomorrow at 5pm.

The added incentive for the likes of midfielder Michael Akuffo and forward Seidu Bansey in this Asante Kotoko-dominated squad is a place in the World Cup squad.

While Konadu is coaching the team in this competition, national coach Kwesi Appiah will be travelling to South Africa to observe them at play.

Konadu was quoted on the Ghana FA website this week as saying: “A star may emerge during the tournament and since the head coach [Appiah] will also be there, they may get called for the World Cup.

“We are ready and positive about our chances in the group, and have prepared well. I hope the players maintain their focus and stick to the plan.”

Ethiopia is expected to be as tricky on the field as they are entertaining on the grandstands, bringing life to Bloemfontein during their stay.

The Walya Antelopes take on Libya tomorrow at 8pm.

They are making a maiden appearance in Chan, having qualified for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations after a 31-year absence.

The east Africans surprised all in that tournament and narrowly missed out on a fairy tale berth in the World Cup in Brazil.

Carrying a formidable and experienced outfit, including midfielder Adane Girma and fellow Saint George star forward Oumed Oukri, Ethiopia may just be a safe bet for at least a semifinal spot.

This will be the perfect sendoff for a man responsible for the side’s revival in the wily old fox Sewnet Bishaw, the coach who has hinted at retirement after this event.

However, rule out the group’s two underdogs?– Libya’s Mediterranean Knights and the Congolese Red Devils –?at your peril.

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