Ghana will be hoping to start their 2019 Africa U23 Cup of Nations campaign with a win against fellow debutants Cameroon on Friday evening.
Since the introduction of the U23 AFCON in 2011, to serve as at the continental qualifier for the Olympics, this is the first time Ghana have qualified for the eight-team tournament.
After unsuccessful attempts, it was Ibrahim Tanko, a former Black Star forward who guided the Meteors to a first-ever qualification.
Finishing amongst the top three will end a 15-year wait as far as the Olympics is concerned, a feat that would earn the present generation of players a place in Ghana’s football folklore.
Ghana prides itself as the first African country to win football medal at the Olympics – bronze medal at the Barcelona 1992 Olympic Games – a feat that opened the doors for fellows Nigeria and Cameroon to win gold.
For Cameroon, after successive losses at the preliminary rounds of the previous editions, they have finally earned the pleasure of playing at the U23 AFCON.
The 2000 Olympic champions who made history after beating Spain on post-match penalties in a tightly contested Gold Medal match in Sydney, Australia, have been presented with yet another opportunity to earn a place on the Olympic podium.
But to get there, Cameroon have a duty to give their all in their inaugural participation at the U-23 AFCON which kicks off in the Egyptian capital, Cairo on 8 November.
Guided by legend Rigobert Song, he has built a team around locally-based players with the inclusion of selected foreign-based stars to boost their profile and constitute a backbone for the U-23 Indomitable Lions.
What is the kick-off time?
The match will start at exactly 19:00 GMT
The two teams most recent form
The Black Meteors kicked off their qualifying campaign on a high after easily dispatching Togo 5-2 on aggregate. Their next date with Gabon ended in a similar fashion. Ghana brushed the Panthers aside with a 4-0 aggregate win. Their final hurdle was however far from straightforward. Ibrahim Tanko’s men were held to a 1-1 draw by Algeria in the first leg and earned a surprise 1-0 away victory in the second leg.
Cameroon made light work of Chad in their first qualifying game with a 4-1 aggregate victory. The Indomitable Lions then beat Tunisia by a lone goal in the first leg and lost 2-1 in the return fixture, going through on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate scoreline. Cameroon camped in Hungary ahead of the tournament. They beat Mezokovesd 1-0 and lost by the same margin to CFB Sifok.
Players to watch
Kwabena Owusu has been on a meteoric rise this year, making an appearance for the senior side in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations. The Cordoba forward displayed an eye for goal in the U-23 AFCON qualifiers, scoring 4 goals. He will look to further convince the fans of his abilities.
Erik Ayuk has had regular game time this season with Turkish side Osmalinspor and has already scored once in the league. Ayuk also found the net twice for the Indomitable Lions in the qualifiers and will look to make a mark in Egypt.
The two teams have won medals in the Olympics in the past. Ghana claimed a bronze medal in 1992 and Cameroon won gold in 2000.
Ghana and Cameroon conceded the same number of goals in the U-23 AFCON qualifiers (3).
Ghana scored eleven goals in the U-23 AFCON qualifiers. Cameroon, on the other hand, scored six.