Head coach of Ghana’s Black Stars at the 2017 West African Football Union (WAFU) Cup of Nations, Maxwell Konadu has promised that Nigeria “will not find it easy” when both countries meet in the final of the competition on Sunday.
Konadu spoke to the press after his side ensured qualification for the final after goals from Kwame Kizito and Stephen Sarfo handed them a convincing 2-0 win over tournament’s surprise package Niger on Thursday night.
Thursday’s win means Ghana will face Nigeria for the second time in a week in the competition after the Super Eagles had earlier beaten their arch rivals 2-0 on Monday night, a result which ensured their progress to the knockout stage of the tournament.
“Come Sunday, we will be prepared for Nigeria. We will come out very strong against them,” begun Konadu.
“They beat us the last time we met and we can all attest that they have a very strong team, they’re a very good side but we have to make sure to turn the table this time around,” he added.
Arguably two of the biggest footballing nations in West Africa, matches between hosts Ghana and Nigeria have always been keenly contested due to the rivalry among both nations.
At this ‘home based’ senior national team level, Konadu was in charge of the Ghana side which beat Nigeria at the semi final of the 2014 African Nations Championships in South Africa. Having lost to Salisu Yusuf’s men on Monday, Konadu has promised them a difficult game in the final.
“The last time (they beat us), we had issues with player injuries but I hope to have everybody available on Sunday. It won’t be an easy game and they won’t find it easy as well,” he affirmed.
Nigeria are yet to concede a goal in this year’s tournament but will have to wait on the fitness of their lanky defender Stephen Eze who missed Thursday’s semi-final win over Benin due to injury.
Ghana are the defending champions and will hope to retain their title when the final is decided at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, starting from 18:00hrs GMT on Sunday.