Ghana’s Black Stars begin their search for yet another continental honours when they face their Beninois counterparts in Ismailia today.
Indeed, a win will not only give them a good start, but will erase doubts in the minds of many who have expressed little belief in the team due to their not too impressive friendly game results ahead of the tournament.
Certainly, history in the ongoing competition‒ which has seen the game’s power houses struggle to go past less fancied sides‒ has raised the stakes in the Group F opening fixture.
Ghana captain Dede Ayew believes winning the opener means everything to the entire team.
He indicated ahead of the game that the ease that comes with winning first group games has been the team’s motivation, and have vowed to employ all tactics to claw all the points.
The Beninois, over the years, have proven tough customers for the Stars, and having monitored their preparations ahead of the competition, everything points to the fact that today’s game is likely to follow same format.
“We are guided by what is happening in the competition, we live in times when you underrate a side at your peril.
We will go all out, when you draw or lose, you bring pressure to yourself in the remaining matches; we want to avoid that. I know we won’t have it easy, but we have prepared enough to start well. We are hoping for a good day and a good game,” Dede said.
Kofi Owusu Aduonum, Cairo, Egypt