Libya and Ghana who both won their opening matches on Monday from Group C at the African Nations Championship, meet Friday at the Free State Stadium in Mangaung in what could prove to be the group clincher as a win for either side will put the victor within touching distance of a quarterfinal berth.
The Mediterranean Knights of Libya new coach Javier Clemente Libya was extremely pleased with his side’s display in the opening Group match on Monday that secured a 2-0 victory over Ethiopia. While the Black Stars of Ghana coach Maxwell Konadu was happy to pick up three points from a 1-0 win over Congo in the team’s opening game. He admitted his charges had not exactly impressed or played well.
The contrast couldn’t be more glaring going into the clash between the sides. Ahead of the encounter Spaniard, Clemente said that Libya will take the same attitude but different approach into the game against Ghana.
“The approach we will use on Friday is based on how we want play against Ghana, and they are different in their play from Ethiopia so we too have to use a different system. If my young team can repeat their commitment and attitude shown in the first match, l will be happy and will let the result pick itself,” Clemente said.
He went on to say, that Ghana are a household name on the continent and in world football therefore the Libyans will wary and on guard of them. “I hope the youthfulness of my side and the experience of Ghana will produce an interesting contest,” he added.
Clemente’s opposite number Konadu said he watched Friday’s opponents and Ghana certainly need to improve if they are to avoid Ethiopia’s fate, “There is no doubt Libya are a good team with enterprising youth who have speed and fluency about them. Both teams know that another three points increase the chances of making out of the group. Of course one wants to play the final group match without pressure so yes we will go for maximum points” said Konadu.
Libya bossed the midfield and denied their opponents (Ethiopia) ball possession. Man of the match midfielder Mohamed Elgadi along with Faisal Ali Saleh and Motasem Sabbou controlled the midfield especially in the first half and regularly found their quick forwards Elmutasem Abushnaf and Mohamed Ghanudi with passes.
Ghana will be looking to neutralise Libya’s strength in midfield, where Mohamed Elgadi, Faisal Ali Saleh and Motasem Sabbou excelled. For their part the Ghanaians will be seeking to keep possession better than they did against Congo. One thing they two teams have in common is pace.
Match day 2 in group C is set to provide another interesting battle Friday when Congo meet Ethiopia, who are both pointless after the first game.