PREVIEW: Black Starlets take on Burkina Faso in decisive WAFU semi-final clash on Saturday

Ghana’s national under-17 team, the Black Starlets, will take on Burkina Faso in what promises to be a decisive encounter in the semi-final of the WAFU Zone B under-17 championship on Saturday.

The match will begin at 17:00 GMT at the University of Ghana Sports Stadium.

This matchup carries what some have described as the weight of revenge for the Black Starlets, while others see this matchup as the opportunity for Burkina Faso to repeat their previous victory over the Starlets.

The two nations are familiar with each other, as Burkina Faso achieved a memorable victory over Ghana in the semi-finals of the 2022 edition of the tournament.

With memories of that defeat fueling their momentum, Ghana are ready to turn things around and secure a spot in the U17 AFCON, a feat they have not achieved since 2017.

Black Starlets coach Laryea Kingston has played down calls for revenge against Burkina Faso, insisting it is not part of her plans.

“Revenge? No! That’s not what we’re thinking about,” he said after the team’s last training session at the Accra Sports Stadium.

“We have not been to AFCON after our last appearance in 2017, so we have a responsibility to return to the tournament. We play against Burkina Faso and we will approach it as one of those games that requires a different mentality, but not because we want revenge.

“We know that this is the most important match of this WAFU Tournament for us and we have to give everything for it. But we are certainly not going to seek revenge,” he added.

The Black Starlets have been incredible in the current tournament, demonstrating their prowess by claiming victories in both of their matches and scoring an impressive total of 7 goals and conceding just one to top their group.

Burkina Faso finished runners-up in Group B, behind Nigeria. With a solid defensive base and an ability to capitalize on opportunities, Burkina Faso’s path to this stage has been marked by resilience and a relevant strategy. Their three goals scored with a clean sheet speak volumes about their quality as they look for another shot at glory.

As the two teams prepare to face off on the field, all eyes will be on the coaches, who are tasked with guiding their respective teams to victory.

Although both teams have good defensive organization, Ghana has proven to be a high scoring team that has averaged 3 goals per game in its last two games.

For Ghana and Burkina Faso, this is not just another match: it is a decisive moment that will determine their fate in the quest to qualify for the AFCON U17.