By El-Amisty Nobo| Follow Amisty on twitter @ElAmistyNobo
He who spots the loophole in his opponent’s tactics is likely to win as the technically gifted [Ghana] comes face-to-face with the apostles of power play [Nigeria] in the finals of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
Matches between Nigeria and Ghana regardless of the occasion or the prize at stake has always been difficult to predict and this grand finale is surely going to follow the historical antecedent.
The Super Eagles are yet to concede a goal in the tournament, but that does not take away the fact that they had a turbulent start at the group stages also where they drew blanks [0-0] in their first two matches against Mali and Guinea before beating Ghana [2-0] to qualify to the semi final stage.
The Black Stars B on the other hand qualified to the semifinal stage with a match to spare having won their first two group games against Guinea and Mali before losing their last match to their bitterest rivals – Nigeria.
Coach Maxwell Konadu who was heavily dressed down after Ghana’s preliminary match against the Gambia in which the Black Stars B won through Vincent Atingah’s late goal is gradually winning the heart of his critics, but the former Ghanaian striker will come under the microscope of criticisms again should his team fail to win the trophy.
Ironically, Salisu Yusuf may have an excuse to offer should Nigeria fail to win the trophy due to the fact that the Nigerian coach made it clear from day one that he is using the WAFU Cup to prepare his team for the 2018 Championship of African Nations [CHAN] tournament.
The spine of the Ghanaian team lies in their two defensive middies – Isaac Twum [Inter Allies] and Emmanuel Lomotey of Dreams FC.
Coach Salisu Yusuf’s first assignment going into the game will be how to break this golden spine of Maxwell Konadu into pieces by throwing a man in between them to nullify their movements with and without the ball.
Maxwell Konadu may also have to fashion out how to mark out the experienced Rabiu Ali, who has been the fulcrum point around which the Nigeria team revolves.
Amos Frimpong should be tasked to press Moses Peter high up, thereby cutting the supplies to Anthony Okpotu who scored his first goal of the competition against Ghana.
Ghana has little problem when it comes to scoring as strikers; Stephen Sarfo and Kwame Kizito can both guarantee you goals when it matters most. The only deficiency here is how to time their runs to tee up with the skillful Winful Cobbinah.
Ghana: Joseph Addo, Amos Frimpong, Thomas Abbey, Samuel Sarfo, Vincent Atingah, Emmanuel Lomotey, Isaac Twum [Captain], Winful Cobbinah, Gideon Waja, Stephen Sarfo, Kwame Kizito.
Nigeria: Ikechukwu Ezenwa [Captain], Moses Okoro Osadebamwen, Uche Akas, Eze, Ariwachukwu, Afeez Olalekan Aremu, Ifeanyi, Friday, Anthony Okpotu, Rabiu Ali, Moses Eneji Peter.
What more could the organizers of the WAFU Cup of Nations  wished for than a Ghana vs. Nigeria final?