The Sports Minister Elvis Afryie Ankrah on behalf of the President John Dramani Mahama, has sent a solidarity and motivational message to Ghana's Black Satellites ahead of the final of the African Youth Championship in Algeria.
It will be Ghana's fifth final appearance out of which there have been three victories (1993, 1999, 2009).
Ghana's goodwill Sports envoy Ambassador Ray Quarcoo will personally carry the message on behalf of the government and people of Ghana to the Satellites.
North African opponents Egypt, will be playing Ghana for the second time in the tournament following their 2-1 win over their Ghanaian counterparts in the opening Group A fixture.
For this reason, some sports analysts see the Satellites as slight underdogs ahead of Saturday’s final at the Ahmed Zabena Stadium in Oran.
But Afriyie Ankrah thinks differently, stating that the Satellites have the will power and belief to beat Egypt '' The boys have done tremendously well to get to the final and in so doing qualify for Turkey 2013 in June''.
The Sports Minister believes the current squad can follow in the footsteps of other Satellites players who went on to carve illustrious careers.
''We must not forget about the likes of Sammy Kuffuor, Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien, and most recently Andre Ayew and Emmanuel Agyemang Badu just to mention a few who all rose to prominence after winning Junior titles''
Afriyie Ankrah holds the view that the opening group game defeat was a blessing in disguise.'' My interactions with the players even before they left Accra four weeks ago gave me an insight into how focused these lads are and how hungry they are for success''.
According to Afriyie Ankrah, the players displayed great confidence at the farewell dinner he held for the team and promised to bring the cup to him straight from the airport so that he presents it to the President.
"This was the bold promise made by natural born winners and it comes as no surprise that they have reached the finals.''
The Minister also commended the players for concentrating on their mission and assured them that all their outstanding bonuses will be paid upon their arrival following delays in budget approvals and allocation.
The statement concluded that '' The President and good people of Ghana regard you as winners regardless of the result against Egypt and a victory in the final will simply endorse the great confidence we have in you.''
Ghana reached the final courtesy a 1-0, 2-0 and 4-2 win on penalties over Benin, Algeria and Mali respectively while Egypt also beat Ghana, Algeria, Benin and Nigeria to reach only their fourth final.
Sellas Tetteh makes two changes to face Egypt in AYC final today
Ghana U20 coach Sellas Tetteh has shuffled his cards for the African Youth championship final match against Egypt on Saturday by making two changes to his starting line-up.
Tetteh has introduced diminutive Clifford Aboagye-who lost his starting position after the opening Group match-to take the place of Michael Anaba.
Also, Siedu Salifu has recovered from a groin injury which sidelined him for the semi-final against Mali and replaced Derrick Mensah.
However, the backline of captain Lawrence Lartey, Richmond Nketiah, Jeremiah Akorful and Joseph Attamah remains unchanged.
Second joint-top scorer Ebenezer Assifuah and Francis Narh will lead the attack.
Ghana lost 2-1 Egypt in their Group A opener two weeks ago in Ain Temouchent.
Ghana starting line-up:
Eric Ofori Antwi-Lawrence Lartey, Richmond Nketiah, Joseph Attamah, Jeremiah Akorful-Moses Odjer, Siedu Salifu, Ebenezer Ofori, Clifford Aboagye-Francis Narh
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