Soccer News of Friday, 6 October 2017
Ghana’s hope of qualifying for the upcoming Mundial in Russia hangs on a fine thread as they play in their penultimate 2018 FIFA -World Cup qualifying game against the Cranes of Uganda tomorrow.
As it stands now, Ghanaians have written the Black Stars off knowing it would take more than a miracle to pick the single slot in Group E. But Coach Kwasi Appiah’s men have not thrown in the towel yet, knowing a slip by leaders, Egypt against Congo on Sunday could still offer them some glimmer of hope.
Even with the faint chance, the team believe victory against the Cranes of Uganda could restore that hope and pride after the Ugandans held Ghana to a 1-1 draw in their opening game of the World Cup qualifying campaign in Tamale.
If the performance displayed by the Cranes during the first leg match is anything to go by, then the Stars could be in for another tough encounter as the vociferous and intimidating partisan fans in Kampala could play a role in ensuring they pick the maximum points.
The Cranes, who have seven points, two points adrift of leaders, Egypt, have vowed to beat Ghana in this encounter. Earlier in the week, their forward, Geoffrey Sserunkuma, sent a clear signal to the Black Stars to brace themselves for a defeat.
His warning is understandable because Ghana would be without some key stars, including skipper Asamoah Gyan and his deputy Andre Ayew together with Jordan Ayew, Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah.
The absence of these big stars appears to offer the Cranes more confidence about their chances in this encounter.
But Coach Appiah appears not bothered by missing the services of his key stars because without them the Stars were able to beat the Congolese side 5-1 after they managed to frustrate Ghana in a goalless draw during the first leg in Kumasi.
Fortunately, Ghana’s star performer during the 5-1 mauling, Thomas Partey, would still be available to play a significant role in this game and with support from Christian Atsu, Ebenezer Ofori, Alfred Duncan, Daniel Amartey and Richmond Boakye-Yiadom, the team is sure to spoil the Cranes’ party and better their qualification chances.