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Africa U23 Cup of Nations

U23 Afcon qualifiers: Ghana's Tekpetey upbeat ahead of Algeria decider

3:05 PM IST 10/09/19
Bernard Tekpetey of Ghana
The winger looks ahead to the Black Meteors' final continental tournament qualifier, having set sights on securing a place at the championship

Ghana attacker Bernard Tekpetey believes they have every chance to upset Algeria in Algiers on Tuesday to secure a ticket for the 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations, which will, in turn, serve as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Following a disappointing 1-1 home draw in the first leg of the final qualifying round encounter, the Black Meteors are expected to face a tough challenge from the North Africans, who recorded a 3-1 home win in the second round to make the final phase.

The aggregate winners after both legs join six other teams and hosts Egypt for the final tournament between November 8 and 22.

"For me I think we are going to qualify because maybe we are going to get a good pitch there," Fortuna Dusseldorf winger Tekpetey told Footballmadeinghana.

“Even Equatorial Guinea had a goal there [away in Algeria]. If Equatorial Guinea can score a goal there, we can also make a difference because we have [more] quality than them [Equatorial Guinea].

“I’m hoping the boys are going to take their concentration very high. And we are going to put much focus on the game."

The top three teams at the African championship will represent the continent at the Olympics in Japan next year.

“We are going to meet the guys [our players], we are going to tell them this is our quality, this is our work, if anyone is not going to motivate us, let us motivate ourselves," Tekpetey continued.

“We will make ourselves proud, we are making families proud, we are making the nation proud and you are going to make [history].

"It's been like 14 years [since] we have been there [at the Olympics]. I’m hoping and praying we can make it this time."

Ghana are seeking a historic first qualification for the continental gathering since its inception in 2011 and a first appearance at the Olympics since Athens 2004.