Ghana will put their 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations dreams on the line when they face Niger in the second semi final on Thursday. The clash is slated for the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, with kick-off at 18: 00 GMT.
Coach Maxwell Konadu’s side finished top of Group A with six points after beating Guinea and Mali and losing 2-0 to Nigeria.
“I think the game against Nigeria was a difficult one, but all the same I have to congratulate the boys for what they did even though we lost game, they played through a lot of difficulties,” said Konadu.
“We have to congratulate Nigeria, they took their chances and played very well. It was a day, nothing really worked for us. We will go back, rest well and recover for Thursday and the semifinal.”
The final match will be watched by the CAF president Ahmad and members of the continent’s football body’s Executive Committee after their meeting in Accra.
Niger had a roller coaster ride to qualify from Group B, particularly in their last match: they lost 2-1 to Benin on Tuesday night in a game where they held the lead, had two men sent off in the first half, had to put an outfield player in goal and lost the game by conceding in the dying minutes!
Yet despite all that drama, they still qualified for the final four, edging ahead of Senegal on head-to-head results (the Menas beat the Teranga Lions 2-1 last Friday) to join group winners Benin in the semis.
Quite what Niger will do in terms of their goalkeeping crisis remains to be seen: first-choice Daouda Kassaly was injured against the Squirrels, while his replacement Mainassara Yahaya lasted just five minutes before receiving a straight red card – both are presumably unavailable for the match against Ghana.
Niger placed second in Group B with Benin winning their final group game to emerge top to set up a semi final clash with the Super Eagles on Thursday.
Winners of the two semi finals games will advance to the final match to be played on Sunday with the losers playing the third place game on Saturday.