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2022 World Cup: Country profile – Ghana

Factfile on Ghana, who are in World Cup Group H:

Best World Cup performance: Quarter-finalists in 2010.

Other honours: African champions in 1963, 1965, 1978, 1982.

FIFA ranking: 61.

Main clubs: Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak.

How they qualified: Ghana defeated Nigeria in a play-off.

Coach: Former Ghana World Cup midfielder Otto Addo, 47, who had never been a head coach, faced a baptism of fire as the Black Stars’ boss last February, inheriting a demoralised squad after a stunning loss to the Comoros condemned the four-time African champions to a first-round exit from the 2021 Cup of Nations. Defying the odds, they drew twice with arch rivals Nigeria to qualify on away goals. Addo has failed to convince many Ghanaians, though, that he can take the side beyond the first round and the national football association organised two national days of prayer and fasting — one for Christians and another for Muslims — to galvanise support.  

Graphic: https://www.sofascore.com/

Key player: Opponents of Ghana who consider Thomas Partey, 29, just a defensive midfielder would do well to watch a clip from the recent 5-0 drubbing Arsenal dished out to Nottingham Forest. The Gunners were three goals up when the former Atletico Madrid star, who became a Gunner in 2020, unleashed an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net. The memorable goal confirmed the opinion of long-serving Atletico manager Diego Simeone that the humble footballer from a village in eastern Ghana is “extraordinary when defending or attacking, providing assists, passing, shooting and scoring”. Partey was so eager to play in Europe that he forgot to tell his parents he was leaving west Africa until he arrived in Spain 10 years ago.    

Graphic: https://www.sofascore.com/

Group fixtures

November 24: Portugal v Ghana.

November 28: South Korea v Ghana.

December 2: Ghana v Uruguay.

Squad

Goalkeepers: Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St Gallen), Danlad Ibrahim (Asante Kotoko), Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen)

Defenders: Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Abdul-Rahman Baba (Reading), Alexander Djiku (Racing Strasbourg), Tariq Lamptey (Brighton & Hove Albion), Gideon Mensah (AJ Auxerre), Denis Odoi (Club Brugge), Mohammed Salisu (Southampton), Alidu Seidu (Clermont Foot)

Midfielders: Andre Ayew (Al Sadd), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax Amsterdam), Daniel-Kofi Kyereh (SC Freiburg), Elisha Owusu (Gent), Thomas Partey (Arsenal), Salis Abdul Samed (Racing Lens)

Forwards: Daniel Afriyie (Hearts of Oak), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Osman Bukari (Red Star Belgrade), Issahaku Abdul Fatawu (Sporting Lisbon), Antoine Semenyo (Bristol City), Kamal Sowah (Club Brugge), Kamaldeen Sulemana (Stade Rennes), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao).

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