Ghana Black Meteors boss Paa Kwesi Fabin has talked about Ghana U-23 future chances in friendly games against Japan and South Korea.
Ghana failed to qualify for this summer’s Olympic Games after losing a third place to South Africa in African U-23 Cup of Nation in November 2019 in Egypt.
Africa’s representatives are Egypt who eventually won the tournament, finalist Ivory Coast and South African with hopes high of winning a medal for their respective African countries.
Ghana’s lack of success in Egypt put a big question mark on the future of Black Meteors where the ideal thought was that Ghana would have to wait for generations before they can raise another formidable team to represent the country in Caf and Fifa organized tournaments.
With this idea coming along when top generation of Kwame Baah, Zakaria Fuseini, Habib Mohammed, Kingsley Fobi, Yaw Yeboah, Emmanuel Lomotey, Evan Mensah and Kwabena Owusu progressing to their senior careers without guiding Meteors to any remarkable milestone achievement.
Ghana host 2023 Africa Games in a couple of few years ahead and have assembled entirely new team for the tournament dominated by former Satellite squad that lifted the 2020 African Youth Championship in Mauritania in March.
The team’s immediate assignment is to play Japan and South Korea who both prepare to participate in Tokyo 2020. Ghana had limited time to prepare for the Asian friendlies but Paa Kwesi Fabin believes the short-coming games will help him assess his team ahead of future competitions (in particular the 2023 All African Games).
‘’As you know we didn’t have too much time for training. Since we came this is the second day of training and therefore we have no choice but to get ready for the match’’ Coach Fabin told ghanafa.org
Meteors play Olympic Games hosts Japan tomorrow in Tokyo before the return leg four days later. Ghana will then engage South Korea 12th while the second game is scheduled three days later.
‘This friendly will give me the chance to assess the boys that I am going to work with, with the U-23 so the little time we have had, we have put things together for them to be able to perform’’ he added.
Ghana and Japan rekindle their history in the Olympic Games but the Asian side have been the dominant over the African in the Fifa tournament. In Athens 2004, Japan beat Ghana by lone goal in final group stage game to deny Meteors qualification to 1/16 round.
Fabin may be too concern to have assessment of his squad in sight after rampant changes hit his initial call up. Late call ups have altered the initial squad and quality could even be altered ahead of the two friendlies.
Initially-missing Sabit Abdulai and Real Oviedo striker Samuel Obeng Gyabaa joined Fabin’s side lately which could boost Meteors’ chances against Japan and Korea.
Osman Bukari, Kwame A. Poku and Ibrahim Imoro, who were part of Black Stars for Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe in March, joined Meteors camp late after being snubbed by Stars boss CK Akonnor ahead of ties against Morocco and Ivory Coast.
On the other hand, Slovakia-based right-back Benson Anang, Vitoria Guimaraes centre-back Abdul Mumin and Poland-based midfielder Yaw Yeboah, who all made the original U23 squad, have not been included in the updated list.
Anang, like Bukari and Poku, played for the Black Stars against South Africa and Sao Tome. Ghana Premier League top scorer Diawusie Taylor is included in the squad as reward for his fine form in the Ghanaian top flight league.
Meteors full squad for Japan and South Korea friendlies
Goalkeepers: Richmond Ayi (Hearts of Oak), William Esso (Vision FC)
Defenders: Samuel Ashie Quaye (Great Olympics), Frank Assinki (HB Koge), Frank Amoabeng (Cerignola), Ibrahim Moro (Asante Kotoko), Uzair Alhassan (Tamale Utrecht), Abdulai Sabit (Getafe CF)
Midfield: Emmanuel Essiam (Berekum Chelsea), Frimpong Boateng (King Faisal), Patrick Mensah (Heart of Lions), Kwame Adubofuor Poku (Colchester United), Osman Bukari (Genk)
Forwards: Jonah Attuquaye (Legon Cities), Percious Boah (Dreams FC), Samuel Obeng Gyabaa (Real Oviedo), Joseph Barnes (Shalkeh 04), Diawusie Taylor (Karela United FC), Samuel Boakye (Eleven Wonders)