U23 Afcon: Ibrahim Tanko to lock horns with former boss as Ghana faces Cameroon tonight

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The Black Meteors of Ghana and Cameroon U23 face off at the Cairo International Stadium for the opening of the U23 Cup of Nations Friday evening, ABC News can report.

This is the first time both Ghana and Cameroon are playing in the tournament since its inception in 2011. The two sides will face each other in the second Group A match at 10p.m. (8p.m. GMT).

Black Meteors coach Ibrahim Tanko will be coming up against his former boss Rigobert Song when he was assistant coach of the Indomitable Lions four years ago, a duel that he is really looking forward to.

“Rigo is a very good friend of mine and I worked with him when I was with Cameroon. We also speak every time we have the time. When I was coach he was the team manager so I am very happy that he’s qualified the team and am looking forward to the match,” the former Indomitable Lions assistant coach said at the pre-match press conference.

Coach Tanko insists that the absence of the domestic league in Ghana will not affect the team’s performance in the tournament.

“It is true we’ve not had competitive domestic football in about a year but we also have players in foreign leagues so we came here with a good blend of local and foreign based players for this competition.

“Though we didn’t get all the players we wanted I believe in the players I’ve invited and I believe they will show what they can do. I am very happy with the performance I’ve seen from them so far,” he said.

He added that “on the pitch we will do our maximum best to win the game. My team is ready and we are to map up a strategy to help us qualify to the Olympics.”

Ghana qualified to the competition after eliminating Algeria in the final stage of the qualifiers while Cameroon also accounted for Tunisia to book a place in the final eight for the tournament.

The last time the two sides met was in the 2011 All Africa Games where Ghana defeated Cameroon 1-0 and went on to win the competition.

Ghana is in group A with host nation Egypt, Cameroon and Mali, and is said to be the group of death in the tournament.

Best two teams in each group will advance to the semi-finals where the winner, the first and second runner ups will secure tickets to represent Africa at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Source: ABCNewsgh.com


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