After scoring eighteen goals in three pre-tournament training matches in Italy, much was the expectation for the Black Starlets to impress at the ongoing Africa U-17 Youth Championship in Morocco.
This was not to be after Ghana lost by a heavy 6-1 margin to the Super Eaglets of Nigeria in their very first group game in Marrakech.
That result was Ghana’s worst defeat in international age-categorized football.
With two more games to go, the Black Starlets still do have a chance to progress to the next stage and ultimately qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates later in the year.
Negative feedback has been rife on social media, with Coach Paa Kwesi Fabin and his technical team at the receiving end of harsh criticism.
At this point, Paa Kwesi Fabin and his players can only pick up the pieces and work towards turning things around in Ghana’s favour as they face Congo on Wednesday and Ivory Coast in the final group game on Saturday.
Last night’s score-line, which can be called “the Marrakech Disaster” is similar to the “Bochum Disaster” in which the Black Stars received a 1-6 mauling at the hands of Germany in 1993.
The results have sent worrying signals to the FA. Head of the FA’s technical committee and FIFA/CAF instructor, Francis Oti Akenteng believes “Ghana can still come back despite the lack of strength and experience by the players.”
The former Accra Hearts of Oak coach does not “expect things to remain the way they are currently”, and has asked for “the players to be psyched up. I believe there are some very experienced people on the technical bench, for instance coach Addy who has seen it all is there so I suggest he supports the team with his vast experience. I believe his experience will [be brought to] bear on the boys now.”
The Black Starlets, two time FIFA U-17 World Cup (91 & 95) and African Youth Championship (95 and 99) winners will play Congo on Wednesday and play La Côte D’Ivoire on Saturday in the final group game of the 2013 Africa U-17 Youth Championship in Morroco.