The Black Meteors will defend a slim lead in the second leg of the 2016 Olympic Games qualifier after a narrow win over the Red Devils on Saturday
Ghana Olympic team defeated their Congolese counterpart 1-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday.
Coach Malik Jabir handed Wa All Stars goalkeeper Richard Ofori the starting role ahead of Eric Ofori Antwi and played Lawrence Lartey, Emmanuel Nti Mensah, Amos Acheampong and Baba Mensah in front of him in defence. Kennedy Ashia and Enoch Ebo Andoh spearheaded the attack with support from Pekuson Courage, Bright Adjei, Patrick Razak and Saddick Alhassan in midfield.
Ghana came close to opening the scoring after 10 minutes but Ashia’s two quick efforts went off target.
The Meteors claimed the lead by the 14th minute when former King Faisal midfielder, Enoch Ebo Andoh, perfectly slotted a last ditch effort to the side of Congo goalkeeper Mafoumbi Christopher after connecting with a pass from Alhassan.
Congo returned from the break with former Ghana coach Claude Leroy making lots of tactical changes to his side, which paid off as they were able to keep the home team at bay without conceding more goals.
Ghana poured forth in search of another goal to ease the pressure in the reverse fixture, however, efforts remained wasteful until the final whistle.
After the game, Leroy claimed his boys use their real age as opposed to Ghana, who paraded an overage team.
“Ghana is not using Under-23 side unlike Congo who presented players with their real ages. Ghana cheats on age competitions,” he told Goal.
The winner of the tie will lock horns with Nigeria in the final round of the qualifying series to qualify for the 2015 Caf U-23 Championship holding in Senegal next December, which will also serve as a qualifier for the 2016 Olympic Games.
The top three teams will qualify to the Summer Olympics men’s football while the fourth placed finisher will engage in a play-off against a team from the Asian Football Confederation.
According to Caf, all players participating in the preliminary and final tournament of the U-23 African Championship shall be born on or after January 1, 1993.
The first edition of the tournament was held in Morocco in 2011, with Gabon emerging as champions after beating the hosts in the final.