01 July 2017

Scouting Report: Ghana’s Black Stars are in a deep hole

Normally, putting together a competitive team for a summer friendly, outside the FIFA calendar, would be a tall order for Ghana, but the Black Stars need the work ahead of the fall crunch in World Cup 2018 qualifying, where they find themselves in a deep hole.

A 2-0 loss to Egypt — which it beat to qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals — and 0-0 tie with Uganda has left the Black Stars in third place, five points behind Egypt and three behind Uganda, with four games to play. Only the winner of each of Africa’s five groups advances to the World Cup finals.

Ghana, which lost to Mexico, 1-0, on Wednesday in Houston, has called in 17 foreign-based players, including four from MLS and one from the NASL. Just five players based in Ghana are in the team.

Only three players — the Columbus Crew’s Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah and French-based Majeed Waris — played in Ghana’s last World Cup qualifier, the 2-0 loss to Egypt. Veterans John Boye and Asamoah Gyan and Mensah started in Ghana’s 2-1 loss to the USA at the 2014 World Cup finals.

Ghana Roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars).

DEFENDERS (8): Lumor Agbenyenu (1860 Munich/GER), Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew), Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea), Jerry Akaminko (Eskiserhispor/TUR), John Boye (Sivasspor/TUR), Rashid Sumalia (Al Gharafa/QAT), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew), Samuel Sarfo (Liberty Professionals).

MIDFIELDERS (8): Mohammed Abu (Columbus Crew), Isaac Sackey (Alanyaspor/TUR), Ofori Ebenezer (VfB Stuttgart/GER), Kwadwo Poku (Miami FC), Winful Kwaku Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht/BEL), Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda/NED), Gershon Koffie (New England Revolution).

FORWARDS (4): Asamoah Gyan (Al Alhi/UAE), Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich/SUI), Majeed Waris (Lorient/FRA), David Accam (Chicago Fire).



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