Ghana - Sudan Preview: East meets West as Group D race for Brazil 2014 gathers heat
The Black Stars are playing their first major game at home after a poor showing at the 2013 Afcon and will hope to lift Ghanaians up with a win against the Nile Crocodiles
By Nana Frimpong
Afful, Kissi, Boye, Vorsah
Asamoah, Badu, Muntari, Wakaso
Ali, Omer, Gabir, Abdallah
Kamal, Basher, Al-Agab, Al-Tahir
The Black Stars, playing at home, would hope to thrive very much on the usual vociferous support they receive at the chosen venue - Kumasi's Baba Yara Stadium - to aid them in condemning the Sudanese to a reasonably heavy defeat. Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah would attempt to vindicate himself and his team after the disappointment brought by a failed glory hunt at Afcon 2013. The 53-year old has called up four new players -among whom Arsenal's Emmanuel Frimpong (now on loan at Fulham) appears the most likely to make his international debut - yet would be rocked nonetheless by the last-minute withdrawal of the creative Christian Atsu of FC Porto due to injury.
A win would be the Black Stars' second in a sequence of three qualifying games, the first being a 7-0 mauling of Lesotho, with the less favourable result occurring in the form of a narrow loss away to Zambia last June.
For Sudan, anything but victory - improbable as it might seem - would be disastrous, implying they would be obliged to attack as much as they would love to defend, be it as they possess just a point thus far in their campaign. The regular contingents from Al-Hilal and Al-Merreikh, the east African nation's biggest club sides, would need to make their presence positively felt. Mohammed Abdullah Mazda, coach of the Jediane Falcons, would be counting dearly on that factor.
Both Sudan and Ghana have had their respective campaigns - which had seemed well on course until very recently - rendered infinitely more complex by a decision by Fifa to chalk off Sudan's triumph over Zambia in the first game of the session and hand maximum points to the Chipolopolo as a consequence of the former's fielding an ineligible player in their encounter. Subsequently, either side would be sure to keep a keen eye on the match between the group's two other teams.
An unlikely [positive] result for bottom-side Lesotho would reflect favourably on either team, particularly Ghana who could end the matchday within touching distance of the 2012 African champions or, at best, overtake them, courtesy a superior goal difference.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Ghana are named after a great African empire found in ancient.
- Ghana have been to the last two editions of the Fifa World Cup while Sudan seek their maiden qualification.
- Sudan held Ghana to a scored draw the last time a fixture between the pair was honoured in the latter's territory, back in 2010, when Appiah handled the Ghanaian team albeit in an interim capacity.
- A double for current Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan versus Sudan would see him equal national legend Abedi Pele's record as the country's all-time topscorer with 33 goals.
- Ghana (20) and Sudan (127) are separated by some 106 places on the present Fifa rankings of national sides.
Top 3 Predictions
Ghana 3-0 Sudan
- 28.43 %
Ghana 2-0 Sudan
- 18.57 %
Ghana 4-0 Sudan
- 11.14 %
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||07 Jun 2013||Sudan 1 - Ghana 3|
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||24 Mar 2013||Ghana 4 - Sudan 0|
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||06 Sep 2009||Ghana 2 - Sudan 0|
|World Cup Qualification 2014 (Africa) (WCQA)||20 Jun 2009||Sudan 0 - Ghana 2|
|19 Nov 2013||Egypt 2 - Ghana 1||WCQA|
|15 Oct 2013||Ghana 6 - Egypt 1||WCQA|
|10 Sep 2013||Japan 3 - Ghana 1||FR|
|06 Sep 2013||Ghana 2 - Zambia 1||WCQA|
|14 Aug 2013||Turkey 2 - Ghana 2||FR|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed