Otto Addo: Black Stars’ Winning Mentality Secured Victory Over Mali

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In a thrilling match against Mali, Ghana’s Black Stars showcased their resilience and strategic prowess to secure a 2-1 victory in the third round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup African qualifiers. Speaking after the game, Head Coach Otto Addo revealed that the team’s mindset and tactical approach were pivotal in overcoming the challenging conditions and strong opposition.

The match, held on Thursday, June 6, at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako, saw the Black Stars come from behind to snatch all three points. Ernest Nuamah’s goal in the 58th minute leveled the score, and Jordan Ayew’s stoppage-time strike sealed the victory, propelling Ghana to second place in Group I, tied with Comoros on six points but trailing on goal difference.

Coach Addo highlighted the team’s mental preparation as a key factor in their success. “We approached the game with a winning mentality. Even before the match started, we were prepared to secure a win,” Addo stated.

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Understanding the strengths of the Malian team and the tough playing conditions, Addo emphasized the need for a cautious but adaptable approach. “It was very difficult to play a fully attacking game because Mali is a good team and the weather was extremely hot,” he explained. “I needed to gauge the flow of the game and decide whether to deploy more offensive or defensive players.”

As the game unfolded, Addo made crucial substitutions that ultimately turned the tide in Ghana’s favor. “In the end, we brought in more offensive players, and they made the difference by scoring for us,” he noted. The substitutes not only changed the tempo of the game but also linked up effectively to create the winning goal.

Addo praised the team’s fighting spirit and the impact of the substitutes. “This game was on the edge; it was 50/50. Mali had some good chances, and they have a very good team. I think our players showed great resilience,” he remarked.

Reflecting on the match, Addo acknowledged the challenging nature of the game and the importance of strategic flexibility. “We had to fight hard, and in the end, our mentality and tactical adjustments paid off,” he concluded.

The victory against Mali sets a positive tone as the Black Stars prepare for their next fixture against the Central African Republic on Monday, June 10, at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi. With their eyes set on advancing further in the qualifiers, the team’s blend of mental toughness and tactical acumen will be crucial in their pursuit of World Cup qualification.

This latest win not only boosts Ghana’s standings in Group I but also reinforces the Black Stars’ reputation as a formidable force in African football. Fans eagerly await their next performance, hopeful for another display of skill and determination.

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