The former Asante Kotoko winger speaks on the Black Satellites’ success at the sub-regional gathering in Benin
Ghana star Matthew Anim Cudjoe is already looking towards next year’s Africa U20 Cup of Nations (Afcon) after helping the three-time champions secure qualification for the tournament.
Ghana, on Saturday, emerged champions of the Wafu B Cup of Nations in Benin following a 2-1 win over Burkina Faso in the final.
The Black Satellites’ place in the final of the sub-regional championship guaranteed a spot at the continental gathering to be hosted by Mauritania.
“I feel good because we have been able to end a five-year jinx at this level to qualify to the Africa Cup and win the Wafu trophy,” former Asante Kotoko winger Anim Cudjoe, who had a trial stint with Bayern Munich in February and currently plays club football for Legon Cities, told FootballMadeinGhana.
“I told myself that I need to help win the trophy for my country. That mentality helped us.
“When I go home, I will continue to work hard to be fit and well prepared for the Afcon.
“The Africa Cup is a bigger stage so I need to prepare well for it.”
Ghana will be joined by Burkina Faso for the African championship scheduled to run between February 14 and March 4, 2021.
“It’s a great joy, because Ghana has never won a trophy in the last 5 years. Personally this is my first ever trophy as a footballer. So I am very happy to achieve this,” Ghana captain and Hearts of Oak attacker Daniel Barnieh Afriyie said.
“We told ourselves that this game was a make or break affair for us. We motivated ourselves that we needed this trophy to make a mark.”
At the U20 Afcon, all four semi-finalists will be rewarded with tickets to represent the continent at the Fifa U20 World Cup in Indonesia later next year.
It’s a very great victory and as a team when you win a trophy it’s a great achievement also,” Ghana goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad added.
“As a goalkeeper you have to work very hard by making great saves to help your team. At the same time at the end of every game, you have to keep a clean sheet.
“In this tournament I kept two clean sheets. I think it’s not all that enough. Clean sheets is my motto. So I’m just going back home to my club and work extra harder because at the AFCON, the best teams will parade.
“So I have to work extra harder to keep more clean sheets and win the overall best goalkeeper award.”
Ghana last qualified for the U20 World Cup in 2015.