World Cup: can Ghana confirm its lift?

EIn a matter of months, a lot has changed for Ghana in the year 2022. From a poor performance in the AFCON to qualifying for the World Cup, things are changing in the right direction . Now, for their opponents, the Black Stars are completely unknown. The qualitative gain they have made will allow them to do well in their group and, why not, even go to this World Cup taking place in Qatar. South Korea, Uruguay and Portugal have been warned.

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A team that has come a long way

Like Morocco and Senegal, many players from the diaspora feed the national pool, and the arrival of Otto Addo with supervisor Chris Hughton the day after AFCON led to the start of a new era. for the Black Stars. Bolstered by the arrivals of players such as Inaki Williams (striker, Athletic Bilbao), Antoine Semenyo (striker, Bristol City), Tariq Lamptey (right-back, Brighton), and the resolution of the case of Mohammed Salisu (defender, Southampton) , these players added to the wave of reinforcements in March that secured a ticket for the World Cup.

The youngest team in the tournament but also a young team in terms of experience, this Ghana, Otto Addo may not have had enough matches to work on his unity and start the World Cup with maximum certainty. That said, we still notice the real lessons at the end of these final shows. Defeated by Brazil (3-0) in September, a noticeable difference was noticed with the arrival of new reinforcements. “We lost 3-0, so everyone probably thinks they are a weak team. It could be an advantage for us. Maybe I have to do some things differently, and if everyone thinks, I will we will do better. I am not worried. I made a mistake, I will learn from them and hopefully I will improve,” said the Ghanaian coach. The Black Stars then bounced back with a 1-0 win against Nicaragua in a game they dominated but saw a lot of rubbish at the end. According to the coach, 70% of the team’s places have been decided after these two games in September, meaning…

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An extensively revised list related to CAN

Finally, the total of the team is at least twelve new players who did not take part in CAN, a reshuffle of almost half. In terms of domestic championship football representation, there are two players playing: goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad (Asante Kotoko) and striker Daniel Afriyie Barnie (Hearts of Oak), winners of the UFOA-B tournament in 2020 then CAN U20 in 2021 .

Danlad, 19 years old, announced himself last season and contributed to the Kumasi club’s title. Afriyie Barnie, 21, is a key player for the championship title won in 2021. The holder in the warm-up match against Switzerland, he had a good outing and rose to the level of his teammates but is developing in higher level. He could interest teams from major European leagues when his contract expires in December.

In terms of absences, the Black Stars are unscathed at the goalkeeper position. Joe Wollacott (Swindon Town) and Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates, South Africa) are not there. Mallorca midfielder Baba Iddrisu, expected to start alongside Thomas Partey, is also absent. That said, Ghana seems to have the resources to find solutions to compensate for these absences. The last preparation match, winning (2-0) against the Swiss team, almost at 100% of its capacity, was a good performance. The performances of Salisu, who asserted himself as the boss of the defense, of Abdul Samed and of Owusu were indebted to Otto Addo’s choices.

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A group united for a purpose

The preparation for the World Cup showed that there is a good atmosphere there within a talented group, an equal balance between the experienced players from then and the talents that have been incorporated in previous years. At the technical staff level, the selection was also strengthened by Dr Narteh Ogum, former coach of Asante Kotoko, and Samuel Boadu, former coach of Hearts of Oak, winner of the last two championships in Ghana. The association of these coaches from the two main rival clubs shows the desire to join forces to win.

All this confirms the progress made since CAN 2021. In front of Portugal, then South Korea, Ghana will see Uruguay for a remake of 2010, a painful stage. We have to remember Luis Suarez’s handball at the last moment and the legendary Gyan Asamoah’s missed penalty. For the latter, there is no doubt that for the Blacks Stars, this match will have a special flavor: “Everyone in Ghana is waiting for the match against Uruguay because of what happened in 2010. We think this is our chance to in revenge. »

A place in the round of 16 could be at stake, making the poster even more exciting. In three participations, the Black Stars reached 1/8, in 2006, once 1/4 in 2010 for elimination in 1eh round in a group consisting of Germany, Portugal (2-1 loss) and the USA. Two constants: they’ve never had an easy group but always rise to the occasion. Despite the lack of experience compared to previous seasons, Ghana can once again respond.

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