Appiah’s first test – Leads local Stars against Benin

Kwesi Appiah will take charge of his first international friendly since his return when he leads the local-based Black Stars to face their Beninese counterparts on tomorrow at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The game will be Appiah’s second of his latest stint as Black Stars coach which started on May 1.

The former Al Khartoum manager will be out for a second consecutive victory after marking his debut on a winning note on Wednesday, May 17 with an emphatic 5-0 win over lower-tier Accra Lions at Prampram in a friendly. The victory was secured courtesy Richard Arthur’s brace, as well as strikes by Nicholas Gyan, Joseph Paintsil and Emmanuel Gyamfi.

However, the Beninoise side is expected to provide a sterner test to Appiah’s team who are preparing to “host and win” the 2017 WAFU tournament slated for September 2017 in Ghana.

In contrast, the Beninese team, featuring players from the 12-week old Championnat National (Benin top flight) will be out to avoid consecutive losses after they succumbed to a 2-0 loss against Egypt’s local national team on March 27 at the Air Defence Stadium in Cairo.

Indeed, the 16-team WAFU tournament will provide Appiah with his first opportunity to win a trophy and as such a lot of seriousness is expected to be attached to tomorrow’s game.

The game will also provide Appiah with the opportunity to whittle down his squad with a two-leg second round qualifier for next year’s CAF CHAN tournament against Burkina Faso in August (11 and 18th).

The trio of Thomas Abbey (Hearts of Oak), Musah Nuhu (WAFA) and Justice Blay(Medeama) have since joined the local-based Stars after their impressive outing against Accra Lions, bringing to 33 the number of players in camp, thus increasing the competition for spaces in the final 23-man team.