Ghana WC Team Preview

The Ghana national football team , popularly nicknamed as the Black Stars has represented the Republic of Ghana in association football since the 1950s. Black Stars is administered by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the governing body for football in Ghana and the oldest football association in Africa (founded in 1920).

Although the team did not qualify for the senior FIFA World Cup until 2006, they have won the Africa Cup of Nations four times (in 1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982) and has been runner-up 4 times (in 1968, 1970, 1992, and 2010). At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, they became only the third African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

Ghana survived one of the continent’s toughest qualifying groups for Brazil 2014, by winning five of their six matches against 2012 African champions Zambia, Lesotho and Sudan. A 1-0 defeat in Zambia was their only set-back in a campaign that saw them outscore their opponents by 15 goals to three. That sent them into the final play-off round, where again the Black Stars were done no favours by the draw, which set them up against seven-time African champions Egypt. However, a resounding 6-1 win the home first leg basically settled the tie and sent them into their third FIFA World Cup in succession even before a meaningless 2-1 defeat in Cairo.

An impressive FIFA World Cup finals in 2006 saw the Black Stars beat the Czech Republic and the USA before being eliminated by Brazil in the second round, but they were the only African team to escape their group. In 2010, they were again the only side from the continent in the knockout rounds, and they equalled Africa’s best-ever performance by beating the USA to reach the quarter-finals. Ghana’s loss in a penalty kick shoot-out to Uruguay in the last eight was perhaps the most dramatic of the tournament, and they may well consider themselves as having unfinished business after Asamoah Gyan’s missed penalty kick denied them from becoming the first African side to reach the semi-finals of a FIFA World Cup.

The Black Stars were fancied to repeat, or even improve on, their run to the quarter-finals in 2010 in Brazil. That was until the draw was made and they were drawn against Germany and Portugal the world’s second and fourth-ranked sides respectively.

However confidence is running high in the camp as there are few better midfields in the world than Ghana’s as the Black Stars can call on veterans Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari as well as players hitting their prime like Andre Ayew, Kwadwo Asamoah and Kevin-Prince Boateng. Up front, the athletic Asamoah Gyan will be a vital focal point and no doubt anxious to prove that Ghana can be the undisputed class of Africa.

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)

 

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns)

 

Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan)

 

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochau

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