U20 AFCON: Ghana coach Zito determined to make amends in semi-final clash with Gambia

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Ghana vs Morocco
Ghana vs Morocco

Ghana coach Abdul Karim Zito has acknowledged there is some uncertainty going into Monday’s 2021 Africa U20 Cup of Nations semi-final encounter against Gambia but states his outfit will give everything for a win.

The Black Satellites, who beat Cameroon 4-2 on penalties in the quarter-final, are set to battle it out with the young Scorpions at Stade Olympique in the Mauritanian capital of Nouakchott.

Interestingly, this will be the second meeting between the two teams at the tournament. On matchday three of the group stage, Ghana gave up a lead to fall 2-1 at Stade Municipal de Nouadhibou against the same opponents.

“Football is a game of uncertainties. There’s always an element of surprise and that’s what happened in the group stage against the Gambians,” Zito said during the pre-match press conference on Sunday, the Ghana FA’s official website reports.

“But we always have time to make amendments, so meeting them again, what will change in our team is the character and attitude. You can expect that we will amend what we did wrong in the game we lost.

“African football is changing. Previously, you can easily say Ghana will beat Gambia but now their standard has improved. And there is always an element of surprise, but now we are coming into this match like wounded tigers to secure a win.

“We saw a lot of things we weren’t happy with, but the players showed a positive attitude against Cameroon which gave us the victory. It will be the same players, but a lot will change and that will depend on me and my players.”

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Ghana qualified for the quarter-final as one of two best third-placed teams after finishing behind Morocco and Gambia in the group stage.

Based in Nouadhibou for the first round, the Black Satellites opened their tournament with a 4-0 victory over Tanzania before settling for a 0-0 draw with Morocco ahead of the Gambia fixture.

“The weather conditions in Nouadhibou was one of the factors that affected us in the group stages,” Zito added.

“We had a problem adapting to the weather early but thankfully we have adapted now, and we’ve been able to reach this stage of the competition.”

Ghana are looking to win the U20 Afcon for the fourth time after previous successes in 1993, 1999 and 2009, when they went on to win the World Cup.

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