Niger-Ghana Preview: The Mena looking to bow out of the tournament with pride
Both teams will throw everything at each other, but the Mena will seek to make amends after picking up a point from a possible six
By Juliet Bawuah
Paintsil, Vorsah, Boye, Afful
Adomah, Atsu, Rabiu,
Fatoukouma, Dankowa, Chikoto, Koudize
Issoufou, Moutari, Lacina, Boubacar
The Black Stars of Ghana will play against the Mena of Niger as part of the last fixtures in Group B on Monday.
The Nigeriens are participating in only their second Nations Cup tournament after a maiden appearance in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea last year. They picked up their first and only point in the tournament on Thursday night in a goalless draw against DR Congo.
Identified by pundits as the weakest team in the group, they are currently on the bottom of the log with a point, no goal and a goal conceded. Despite this, they are mathematically still very much in with a chance of qualifying, and will be hoping to chalk their first ever Nations Cup win.
The Black Stars on the other hand recovered from an opening day setback (a 2-2 draw with DR Congo) to record a narrow 1-0 win over Mali on Thursday. The Black Stars currently lie top of the log with three goals and two conceded. Tipped by many not only as favourites to win the group but the tournament as a whole, the Ghanaians will go into the game as the side under pressure, especially given that the group in now wide open, and every team is in with a genuine shot at qualification.
Ghana might miss the services of midfielder Anthony Annan and Striker Richmond Boakye-Yiadom, both recovering from injuries. Winger Mubarak Wakaso is on suspension for receiving two yellow cards in the first two games. Even though skipper Asamoah Gyan sat out Friday morning's training, he is expected to be fit for the game.
Both teams have met nine times overall, with Ghana winning on eight occasions, the remaining game finishing in a 2-2 draw in February 1982. Ghana have scored a whopping 34 goals against the Nigeriens in their nine meetings (including 16 goals in only their first two meetings in 1969), while they (Niger) have only managed four goals against the Black Stars.
The match will be both teams' first ever meeting in the Nations Cup.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
The first ever game between the two sides ended 6-0 in favour of Ghana in Accra back in 1969.
The return fixture in Niamey, which Ghana won 9-1, is Niger's biggest loss at home to date.
- The last time they met was in 1994 in Niamey, Niger's capital. Ghana won 5-1.
This is Niger’s third major Caf tournament participation in a row - 2011 Chan, 2012 and 2013 Afcon editions.
Niger are making their second appearance at the tournament after first qualifying in 2012 in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
- The Black Stars of Ghana have qualified for the last two World Cups, in 2010 and 2006.
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Top 3 Predictions
Niger 0-2 Ghana
- 26.18 %
Niger 0-3 Ghana
- 21.46 %
Niger 1-2 Ghana
- 9.23 %
|Africa Cup of Nations (ACN)||Jan 28, 2013||Niger 0 - Ghana 3|
|Sep 7, 2013||Niger 2 - Congo 2||WCQ|
|Jun 15, 2013||Gabon 4 - Niger 1||WCQ|
|Jun 9, 2013||Niger 0 - Burkina Faso 1||WCQ|
|Mar 23, 2013||Burkina Faso 4 - Niger 0||WCQ|
|Jan 28, 2013||Niger 0 - Ghana 3||ACN|
|18||Koffi Dan Kowa||Striker|
|3||Abdoul Karim Lancina||Midfielder|
|-||Issa Modibo Sidibé||Striker|
|-||Souleymane Dela Sacko||Midfielder|
|17||William Tonji Ngounou||Striker|
|4||Christian Twasam Atsu||Striker|