It is a day that to a large extent, will determine how far his charges go in the CAF Youth Championships qualification rounds.
Surviving their first round encounter at the expense of The Gambians, the Stars will be having their first major test to determine how far they can go.
It will be a test that only victory can ensure their continuous presence in the tournament.
Coach Lartey told Daily Observer’s Leroy Sonpon lll, last Wednesday that he is confident of winning the game. While we did not expect him to be pessimistic about his chances, he could, however, not provide much tangible proof that could aid objective followers to support his position.
“My boys are up for a sustained attack against the Ivorians,” he told the Daily Observer. “I’m upbeat that the kids are going all out on Sunday to try harder for victory.” To try harder? And truly that observation suggests that coach is skeptical of victory.
Though he expressed optimism of victory, he warned soccer fans not to have too much expectation, since there could be a draw, he, however, did not foresee a loss.
His position seems to complicate any clear admittance of victory and it indicates that the kids are not fully conditioned for the assignment on Sunday.
Is it not a fact that if the team had had better or sustained training after the first match against The Gambia, Coach Lartey would have been singing a different but positive tune?
The fact is that in association football, “We are hopeful to win” may not be too strong an expression to take refuge in, much less ‘to try harder.’
At the same time, “Every game has its own events,” according to my good friend, LFA Secretary General Alphonso Armah. But Armah admits that proper training holds a better chance of success, and in this case, victory.
In the end it is up to Jr. Lone Star to play their best and change their own destiny.