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13th African Games: Coach Desmond Ofei’s words after Tuesday’s stellar performance against Senegal

Coach Desmond Ofei has lauded his players for their incredible mentality after edging past Senegal in the semi-final of the African Games Men’s Football tournament on Tuesday evening.

The Black Satellites dug deep and scored in the 83rd minute mark after dominating the game from the kick-off. Ghana will face Uganda in the final match which will be played at the Accra Sports Stadium on Friday, March 22, 2024.

Speaking at the post-match press conference after the game, Coach Ofei was confident that despite the good performance the Ugandans have put up in the competition so far, his side will be ready to face them on Friday.

Here is a transcript of Coach Desmond Ofei’s press conference:

As expected it was a very tough game against a very good team. A team that has been working really hard to compete on the highest level. So we had a lot of respect for them

We had to fight for it and it took us a while but from beginning to the end we dominated the game. We were never in trouble. They chose the long-balls which surprised us because we thought they were going to play. They are a good ball- playing team but that wasn’t the case this evening

We dealt with the game well. In the first half we didn’t create enough chances in my opinion. We didn’t get enough clear cut chances. But we dug deep and eventually we got rewarded.

Coach Desmond Ofei on opportunities created and performance of forward Aziz Misibau:

My boys were not wasteful, we had one clear chance and we finished it. I can’t recall any part of the game where we squandered any chances.

We are in the middle of Ramadan and I want protect the boys as much as I can.Misibau is a very good player, same as Issah and Sulemana, and we felt his energy was dropping and I think the timing of the substitution was a perfect timing.

Coach Desmond Ofei on team’s style of play and in-game variations:

If you watch our previous games you will know that this is our system. On the ball, we play with a back three because we want to dominate the midfield with four mid-fielders and that’s what we have been doing throughout the tournament.

Some of the boys are fasting so it’s tiring. So at the right time we decided to switch to a back four and solidify the midfield more with two holding mid-fielders and play with double wingers and it helped. That’s how Jerry managed to get the assist to our striker Ephson.

Coach Desmond Ofei on the final match against Uganda:

The final is for the players. For us coaches, the training is for us and the match is for the players. We guide them in the game, motivate them and give them the right inspiration to perform.

We started camping on time and got to touch on every facet of the game. The boys are well-prepared for this tournament and they keep growing. Their mentality is incredible, they are very hungry and very humble despite the quality we have in the team.

A final is a final and we are going to enjoy it. For us, it’s a final and we are going to fight. Uganda is a very good team, we have to respect them. I saw them play and their movements with and without the ball is incredible. But we will prepare again and we know them. They have good individual players and we know their weaknesses. We will use our qualities and fight to the end. In the end we will see what happens.

Watch the full press conference below:

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