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AFCON 2023 qualifier: Ghana coach Tanko optimistic after draw in Algeria

The head coach of Ghana’s U23 team Ibrahim Tanko has praised the team for the good performance when they held hosts Algeria to a 1-1 draw last night in a TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) U23 qualifier.

Despite taking the lead, the Black Meteors conceded a late penalty to draw with Algeria in a match played at the 19 May 1956 Stadium in Annaba.

After Ghana’s goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim saved Monsef Bakrar’s penalty kick after 79 minutes, Sporting Lisbon forward Abdul Fatawu Issahaku put the Black Meteors ahead with a sensational goal after taking a shot from the centre after 83 minutes.

But the Algerian team continued to attack and were awarded another penalty kick that Spanish-based professional Chemseddine Bekkouche converted at the stroke of full time.

“We went to Algeria and played well. I am now optimistic that my team will be able to play better with home support and also take their chances in the return leg in Ghana next week,” said Tanko.

The coach said they had wanted to have a good scoreline before the second leg, but added that the players know what is expected from them when the return leg is played in Ghana. “I am confident that we have a team that can deliver and qualify for the U23 AFCON,” added the Ghana coach.

The two teams will clash on March 28th in the return leg at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi to determine who books a ticket to the U23 AFCON which will also act as qualifiers for the Olympic Games to take place in France.

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