The Black Stars of Ghana begin their road to 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar as they lock horns with the Walia ibex of Ethiopia on Friday, September 3, 2021 at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
The Black Stars would be looking to make up for the disappointment of not qualifying for the last World Cup in Russia having made three successive outings at the world’s football showpiece. (Germany 2006, South Africa2010 and Brazil 2014).
The Black Stars remain the firm favourites to make the final round of qualification out of Group G but the likes of South Africa, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe would be equally poised to upset the odds.
The Black Stars suffered a 1-0 loss against Morocco in a pre-match friendly in June and were also held by the Elephants of Ivory Coast in a scoreless game but the Walia ibex recorded an impressive 2-1 against the Cranes of Uganda last Sunday.
Ghana’s first choice goalkeeper Richard Ofori who missed Ghana’s recent friendly matches against Morocco and Ivory Coast is expected to make a comeback to the first team having recovered from injury.
The absence of Thomas Partey and Mohammed Kudus who have been ruled out due to injury would certainly be crucial considering how influential they have been in Charles Kwablan Akonnor’s teams over the past few matches.
Yaw Yeboah who received a late call up to the team makes a return after a two-year absence and would have to replicate his form at club level if he is to get an important role in Akonnor’s set up.
Ethiopia’s top marksman Abubeker Nassir is expected to lead the front line for the visitors having netted 29 goals in 23 appearances in the domestic league.
They are expected to have the services of their all-time top goal scorer Getanah Kebede who also netted 15 goals in the domestic top flight league.
This would be the fifth meeting between the two national teams having met for the first at the 1963 Africa Cup of Nations hosted in Ghana.
Black Stars defeated the Walia ibex 2-0 at the Accra Sports Stadium courtesy a brace from Edward Acquah as they went on to win their first title trophy beating Sudan in the finals.
Ghana has won all three times against Ethiopia at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ethiopia’s only win being a friendly match played in 1996.
Ghana’s possible Starting XI: Richard Ofori, Andy Yiadom, Baba Abdul Rahman, Alexander Djiku, Daniel Amartey, Majeed Ashimeru, Mubarak Wakaso, Joel Fameye, Samuel Owusu, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew,
Ethiopia’s possible Starting XI: Fasil Gebremichael (GK), Menaf Awol, Yared Baye, Aschalew Tamene, Yohannes; Sherefa, Mohamed, Yohannes; Mujib Kassim, Getanah Kebede, Abubeker Nassir.
Kick off Time: 19:00 GMT