Zito blames ‘terrible weather’ for Ghana's stalemate against Niger in Afcon U17 qualifier

The Black Starlets struggled to cope with the weather conditions in Niger according to their coach

Ghana U17 coach Abdul Karim Zito says bad weather conditions accounted for his side’s goalless draw against hosts Niger in the 2019 Afcon U-17 Zone B qualifier on Wednesday.

The Black Starlets, who have been paired with Niger and Togo in Group A, even missed a golden opportunity to top the log after Wa All Stars youngster Simon Appiah Asamoah bungled a penalty late in the game.

"I never thought the match would be easy," Zito said.

"Niger have already warmed themselves up in this competition since they played Togo in the opening game but this was our first game so we are going back to review and correct our mistakes in order not to repeat them in the next game.

"There was fatigue getting to the end of the game and the weather condition was terrible so it didn't favour us. The weather was very hot and it affected our play but we will improve.

"Since our destiny is in our own hands, we must beat Togo to qualify. We have to double our efforts and utilise the chances that will come our way," he added.

Asamoah rued the missed spot kick but believes he will make amends against Togo.

"It's not easy to score penalties. Missing crucial penalties happen to even big players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi and our own Asamoah Gyan," he said.

"How to recover from it and score in the subsequent games is what makes you a good player.

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"We will see how to motivate ourselves ahead of Saturday’s game. We have no friendly international games ahead of this tournament but that won't be an excuse," he added.

Ghana will play Togo on Saturday and a win will secure a qualification to the next round of matches.


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