Ghana assistant coach Ibrahim Tanko is leading Ghana’s Olympic Team against cross-border neighbours Togo in a U23 AFCON qualifier at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi on Tuesday afternoon.
This first-leg tie, which was initially scheduled for November but was postponed due to Ghana’s Normalisation and hosting of the 2018 Total Women’s AFCON, is expected to offer an idea to the former Ghana international and his charges before they make the trip to Lome in the reverse fixture.
Asante Kotoko, Ghana’s sole reps in continental football this season, disciplined the Black Meteors side 3-0 in a preparatory game a fortnight ago.
Since then, Tanko and his assistant – Michael Osei along with Team Manager Ablade Kumah, formerly of Accra Hearts of Oak and the Black Stars, have made alterations to the squad by dropping four players from the squad and inviting foreign-based players for the game.
Spain-based Yaw Yeboah arrived in the Ghana camp on Monday afternoon and has teemed up with Slovakia-based winger Osman Bukari who has 2 goals and 5 assists in all competitions this season for Trencin. Yeboah has sparkled for Numancia in the Segunda Division.
Finnish Veikkausliiga title winner Evans Mensah, former WAFA defender Gideon Mensah, Isaac Twum of IK Start and Frank Arhin of Swedish side Ostersunds have all trained with the Ghana squad for the game.
Joel Fameyeh of Belarusian side Dinamo Brest is expected to partner Spain-based Kwabena Owusu in attack.
In a bid to motivate and bolster the confidence of the team The Professional Footballers Association of Ghana (PFAG) delegated former Black Meteors Captain, Yusif Alhassan Chibsah to give the team a pep talk as a way of motivating them ahead of today’s game, according to a statement on the Ghana FA website.
Chibsah advised the players to remain focused and see their presence in the team as an opportunity to make Ghana proud.
Former Black Stars defender, Frimpong Manso, who accompanied Yusif Chibsah, also pledged an unflinching support to the team and urged them to go for victory.
Isaac Twum, who captained Ghana to victory in the WAFU Zone B tournament in September 2017, is expected to lead the team.
Probable Line: Kwame Baah – Emmanuel Cudjoe, Zakaria Fuseini, Michael Ampadu, Gideon Mensah – Isaac Twum (C), Yaw Yeboah, Evans Mensah, Osman Bukari – Joel Fameyeh, Kwabena Owusu
By El Akyereko
Follow the writer on Twitter: @Akwasiakyereko