Head coach of the Black Starlets of Ghana, Karim Zito says his approach of stopping Ivory Coast from their possessive football did the magic as the team booked qualification to the finals of the WAFU U-17 Zone B championship.
The Black Starlets came from a goal down to beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in the semifinal to set up a clash with rivals Nigeria in the final.
Ivory Coast, who came into the game after a dominating 3-0 win over Burkina Faso were noted for their possessive style of play but Zito says he had an antidote to that which worked as Ghana reach the final.
“I saw their quality so I had to stop them from playing before I can play so what I did was trapping and getting free. I trapped them to stop them from playing and to stop them from thinking, then we started playing,” he said in the post match interview.
“Definitely, I will not get it the way you are seeing it because when you are playing a good team, you have to strategize, plan how to play against the good and bad side of the team.”
“I saw they can posses, they are all skillful players. So, to be honest with you, I thought of what to do! I had to stop them from playing before I start to play. So that was what I meant by trapping and getting free. I trapped to get the ball and start to play,” he concluded.
Seydou Traore shot Cote d’ Ivoire into the lead before Umar Mohammed and Taufiq Shaibu scored for Ghana to secure the victory.
Ghana will now play Nigeria in the finals for a place in the Africa Juvenile Championship in Tanzania next year.