Ghana eye double AAG football gold
Last updated on .From the section Football
Ghana will be vying for their first ever gold in men's football at the All African Games when they take on South Africa in Saturday's final.
The Baby Bafana are the favourites for the match in Maputo having beaten the Black Meteors 1-0 in the group phase.
South Africa reached the final on Tuesday when beating tournament Senegal 6-5 on penalties after the teams had been locked at 0-0 after extra-time.
Ghana reached the final as they secured a 1-0 win over Cameroon.
Coach Shakes Mashaba, who was forced to drop some key players because of the ongoing league in South Africa, must prepare to face a reinvigorated Ghana side.
Despite the absence of some key players in this tournament, midfielder Jabulani Shongwe says they have the wherewithal to defeat the Ghanaians again.
"It's a great honour for us to be in the final. I know many people did not give us a chance with our no name-brand team," Shongwe, who plays for Mamelodi Sundowns, said.
"When we came here, Shakes had a meeting with us to explain the importance of being selected to represent your country.
"Ghana will be a tough one but we are ready for them, we want to beat them again to prove that last week's victory was no fluke.
"We owe South Africans a gold medal."
Aware of the threat posed by the Baby Bafana, Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah says he will not be taking the South Africans lightly.
"South Africa are a good side. They play almost the same (style) as us," Appiah said.
South Africa's best showing in the tournament was in 1999 when they won the bronze medal when they hosted the tournament.
Ghana's best outing in the competition was in Algiers in 1978 and Abuja in 2003 when they took bronze.
Meanwhile, Ghana's female side will also play in Saturday's final at the Games when they take on Cameroon in Maputo.
The Black Princesses beat Algeria 3-0 in their semi-final to advance while Cameroon defeated South Africa 2-0 to reach the final.
The Ghanaian ladies are enjoying a fine tournament, having gone unbeaten in four matches ahead of the final at the Zimpeto National Stadium.
Coach Kuuku Dadzie says their performance in the tournament is not a surprise because they eliminated title holders Nigeria to qualify for the Games.
The former international defender is confident his young players have what it takes to win the title on Saturday.
"Before we qualified (for the All Afrian Games) we kicked out the reigning champions the Super Falcons," Dadzie told BBC Sport.
"Beating Super Falcons to qualify means we are number one on paper. It is a challenge to us that to prove that beating the Super Falcons was not a fluke."