Home Sport Soccer Maritzburg’s Ofori is the key man for Ghana-Bafana clash

Maritzburg’s Ofori is the key man for Ghana-Bafana clash

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“The vibe has always been there around that match. We know that we have to stay focused, and at the end of the day we make our country proud.”

Richard Ofori of Maritzburg United during the Absa Premiership 2019/20 game between Cape Town City and Maritzburg United at Cape Town Stadium on 25 October 2019 © Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

DESPITE the chaos that has engulfed Ghanaian football in recent months, the Black Stars’ No 1 goalkeeper Richard Ofori is confident of collecting maximum points against Bafana Bafana on Thursday next week.

Ghana will host Bafana in Cape Coast in the opening round of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers. Bafana will then take on Sudan at Orlando Stadium on November 17. These matches are important in shaping the qualifying campaign towards Cameroon 2021 in a group completed by Sao Tome and Principe.

Bafana are favourites on paper after their better showing at the Afcon in Egypt, crashing out in the quarter-finals while a lacklustre Ghana were bundled out in the last 16.

“It’s going to be a very good game, playing against Bafana,” Ofori said.

“I know the quality of the team, Bafana has quality players. It’s good to play big countries because Bafana is a big footballing country, (maybe) not today. I remember in the years that have gone past, I was watching this man (Ofori and Maritzburg United’s coach, Eric Tinkler) playing against Ghana.

“The vibe has always been there around that match. We know that we have to stay focused, and at the end of the day we make our country proud.”

Ofori’s knowledge of South African football puts him in a good position.

The Black Stars are in a transition period with a number of the old guard retiring including the legendary Asamoah Gyan. Appiah has been injecting new blood for the transition by calling up a number of new faces who are looking to impress the coach and stake a regular berth in the Black Stars going forward.

“We have a new team,” Ofori said. “There are seven or eight new faces. I always say that if you are a leader but you don’t have people to support you, then you are in a difficult position because you can’t do anything alone.

“Teamwork is important. We need to support the leader because leaders come and go, but the most important thing is to support whoever is in charge at the moment. Everyone wants to show what they can do for the nation and show the world what they are capable of. I know that they will deliver. The most important thing is a victory. I know that we have quality players who will deliver for the country.”