Ghana coach Charles Kwablan Akonnor is anticipating a tough match against South Africa today in the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifier.
The Black Stars will play as visitors to the Bafana Bafana of South Africa tonight at the FNB Stadium in matchday two of the qualifiers.
Akonnor who guided the West African powerhouse to record a narrow 1-0 win over Ethiopia last Friday in Cape Coast, speaking ahead of the game at a press conference stated that his team will approach the big game with all seriousness knowing very well how difficult the match would be.
“We played Ethiopia some few days, one will say Ethiopia is not a football Nation but we played them and looked ordinary. Football is evolving now and I think it’s about time people show respect opponents. I said earlier that they went to Ivory Coast in the AFCON qualifier and dominated 70% of the game. What does that tell you? So sometimes when we are talking, we must be careful not to disrespect teams. We respect South Africa; it’s a very tough match tomorrow. It’s going to be a tough match but with all the respect, we also believe in our capacity of playing and believe that when we do the right thing at the right time, we can carry the day,”
Akonnor added: “What I know is that we are now playing the qualifiers for the World Cup. In our first match, we won, we had three points, and they lost in Zimbabwe and are now under pressure. You can see that they need the points badly but we also need it so bad so it’s a battle we don’t have to lose sight of. But if we are able to be clever in the things we have to do, we will carry the day.
“The whole issue has been a problem, not just me but other national team coaches across the World. Today, you have a plan, tomorrow you wake up and a player has COVID-19 and he cannot join the team. Others are not allowed to join the team for the same reason. I don’t know if CAF and FIFA are handling the situation well because one may ask, can’t we play somewhere else if we cannot bring our players here. There are so many questions to answer and its not making us comfortable. It’s so difficult. We come under severe pressure from our Nation, we have to win at all cost yet this COVID-19 issue has become a major setback and I don’t know if CAF and FIFA are handling the situation very well,” he concluded.