Badu: Ghana not favourites vs. Mauritus
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu has revealed that he and his Ghana teammates are considering themselves as favourites ahead of their opening 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mauritius on Sunday.
“We are not walking into this match thinking we are favourites and that Mauritius are the underdogs,” the Udinese man began, speaking to Cafonline.
“It does not matter to us because football has and is changing a lot. With many teams improving always, it is a negative thing to over duel on a supposed advantage because of pedigree. It always comes down to 90-minutes for both teams and it is exactly how both sets of players will do within that time.”
There has certainly been evidence over the weekend of continental competition so far that Badu is right to be wary of the minnows’ ability to cause an upset.
Guinea—who were defeated by Ghana in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Afcon—were humbled at home by tiny Swaziland, while Zambia—Afcon champions in 2012—could only manage a 0-0 draw at home to Guinea-Bissau.
Badu has urged his teammates to pick up the three points from their clash with the islanders and to take control of qualifying Group H from the off.
As well as Mauritius, Avram Grant’s side are also pooled with Rwanda and Mozambique.
“We want to take our destiny into our own hands and qualify as quickly as possible,” Badu continued. “We intend to approach the match with the mentality to get all the points from it. This is a qualifier and experience has taught us every point is useful.
“Normally, qualifiers can be tricky especially, because we are in a league format. For us, we have decided not to depend on any ifs or buts.”
While Badu didn’t start Ghana’s friendly triumph over Togo earlier in the week, he is expected to return to Grant’s starting XI for the Sunday fixture at the Accra Sports Stadium.