The Black Satellites coach reacts to his team’s perceived underwhelming showing in Benin
Ghana coach Abdul Karim Zito is unperturbed by criticism of his team’s perceived low quality of football displayed at the ongoing Wafu Better Cup of Nations in Benin despite making Saturday’s final against Burkina Faso.
The Black Satellites are set to take on the young Stallions in the tournament climax, four days after edging Niger in a penalty shoot-out after a 0-0 draw beyond extra-time.
That was after a disappointing 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire in their final group game and a hard-fought 1-0 triumph over Nigeria in the tournament opener.
“Everyone has his own opinion; this is a tournament that goes with winning and not about who plays good football,” Zito said, as reported by the Ghana Football Association’s official website.
“When you look at our preparation, we couldn’t get too many matches to play. The more you play, the more you build cohesion, flair and team work.
“Through no fault of ours, we had to deal with a pandemic so not many games were played before the tournament.
“Not even one high profile match with an African team was played before we came here so it’s good that after all the setbacks, we have made it to the Africa U20 Cup of Nations.
“Most of the boys too are new so it’s okay for me to get Ghana to the tournament.”
Qualification to the Wafu B Cup final secured Ghana a place at the 2021 Africa U20 Cup of Nations to be held in Mauritania.
“Sometimes, it’s about the situation you find yourself in. You don’t necessarily have to play beautiful football to get results,” Zito added.
“We were in a position where we needed to get results within a short period. So, we planned for results instead of playing fine, fine football.
“The fine, fine football is good, that is what we are used to, as a people. But for now, I am happy with the progress of the team. The fine, fine football will come later.”
Next year’s African championship will in turn serve as qualifiers for the U20 World Cup later that year in Indonesia, with the top four in Mauritania winning tickets to represent the continent in Indonesia.