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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Newcastle need their Ghana star to return – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 27, 2017. 13:00


Ghanaian Christian Atsu was again absent as Newcastle United slumped to a fourth successive defeat on Saturday.

The Magpies were given a chastening 3-0 beating at home by Watford, with Atsu missing a second successive match following the thigh injury he supposedly aggravate while on international duty with the Black Stars.

The loss to the Hornets is a fourth in succession for Rafael Benitez’s side, who have also been beaten by Burnley, Bournemouth and Manchester United in the sequence.

The defeat to United at Old Trafford is to be expected given the difference in the respective teams’ ambitions, but the losses against the other three will be major worries for Newcastle fans.

The club has dropped to 13th place on the log and is just four points above the relegation zone.

The good news is that Atsu is nearing a return from injury, with Benitez revealing last week that the winger is making encouraging progress.

The Magpies may even be tempted to fast-track his return when they face West Bromwich Albion in a midweek Premier League clash at the Hawthorns tomorrow night.

Short of that, they’ll definitely want him for the high profile match away to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, December 2, where Atsu’s pace and penetration on the counter attack could be a key facet of their game plan.



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Villa’s Adomah maintains good form despite Ghana snub


Aston Villa’s Albert Adomah

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Saturday Nov 25, 2017. 13:00


Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce is pleased with Ghanaian international Albert Adomah’s surge in form.

The 29-year-old midfielder has established himself as one of the key players for the English Championship side.

Adomah, who last played for Ghana in 2015, has netted eight goals in 14 league matches for Villa this season.

“I’m delighted with Albert, he’s in great form,” Bruce told Villa’s official website.

Adomah made it three goals in two league matches when he netted against Sunderland on Tuesday.

“He was a doubt before the game, we thought he had a bit of a calf problem but he wanted to play,” he added.

“And he scored another goal, which is great.”

Adomah will look to inspire Villa to victory when they face Ipswich Town in a league match on Saturday.



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Kwesi Appiah on why Ghana failed to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Wednesday Nov 22, 2017. 15:30


Ghana national team coach Kwesi Appiah says they had a plan to reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup, but they were unfortunate in their attempts.

The Black Stars manager revealed his thoughts on why they failed to reach the global showpiece and at the same time praised the Egyptian national team.

AFRICANS IN UCL ACTION TONIGHT: THOMAS PARTEY’S ATLETICO IN MUST-WIN CLASH

He also pointed out that the North Africans had a well-executed plan for their qualifying campaign that included a lot of money from investors.

Egypt qualified to the World Cup for the first time since 1990 after finishing on top of Group E with 13 points while Ghana finished in third place with seven points.

“It’s unfortunate we did not qualify for the World Cup. Every Ghanaian is disappointed we did not qualify,” Appiah told Happy FM.

“If we come together and access where the fault is, automatically we will be heading forward.

“Egypt for instance, had a plan, they had some many investors putting in some money that they had purposely to qualify for the World Cup.”



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Newcastle manager not blaming Ghana for injury – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


Newcastle United‘s Christian Atsu

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 20, 2017. 13:00


With Christian Atsu currently on Newcastle United’s injury list, manager Rafael Benitez has refused to blame Ghana for the player’s unavailability.

The 25-year-old Black Stars winger missed the Magpies’ 4-1 defeat away to Manchester United this past weekend with a thigh injury.

The player first sustained the injury while playing for Newcastle against his former side Bournemouth ahead of the recent international break.

He then flew out to join the Ghana squad ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt, but was ruled out of the game due to the knock.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has since explained that Ghana were not to blame for the player’s injury.

“He had a kick during the game against Bournemouth, and after when he shot he was feeling it a little bit,” the Spanish tactician explained ahead of the game against Man United.

“He put some ice on it and said he was fine. Then he went away with the national team. He had a training session and they [Ghana] sent him back.

“It’s not the case that they were using him and then something happened. He had a little problem and then he went there, couldn’t play and he came back. It’s not that it’s their fault. It’s just something that happened.”

Benitez and Newcastle will hope Atsu returns to fitness and availability ahead of their match at home to Watford in the Premier League this coming Saturday.



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Ghana coach defends continuous exclusion of Ayew brothers – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Jordan Ayew of Ghana and Andre Ayew

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Nov 17, 2017. 15:00


Ghana head coach James Kwesi Appiah has defended his continuous exclusion of the Ayew brothers from the Black Stars.

The 57-year-old tactican has not called up Andre and his younger brother, Jordan since the duo opted out of Ghana’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville citing injury and illness.

Andre and Jordan, who play for English sides West Ham United and Swansea City respectively, were also dropped by Appiah during his first stint in charge for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

However, Appiah told KweseESPN that he is simply doing what he thinks is in the best interests of the team.

“Whomever I call, people will complain so that is something I am used to,” Appiah said.

“There are so many players doing very well and there is no way I can call up everyone.

The Black Stars endured a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign which saw the West African side fail to book its place in next year’s finals.

“The most important thing is that I need to make the right calls with what is ultimately good for this team as the major guide,” he continued.

“And not allow what people complain about to influence it. If I am to bother about that then I will be calling up about 100 players.”

It remains to be seen whether Appiah will recall the Ayew brothers ahead of Ghana’s 2019 AFCON qualifier which is against Kenya in March next year.



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Ghana has great future despite 2018 failure – Raphael Dwamena – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 17:00


Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena insists that the national team has a great future despite the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

The Black Stars finished third in Group E behind Egypt and Uganda, but Dwamena, who is still a relative newcomer to the team, believes the World Cup failure could be a blessing in disguise.

“We got a great future with the new players in the team. We are there for each other as teammates and we have to stick together as a team to achieve our aim. We can do everything if we stick together as a team,” the 24-year-old is quoted by Finder Sports.

“The future is bright for the Black Stars because we have a lot of young players. We have to work hard and we have a long way to go.

“There are a lot of things ahead of us being the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, World Cup qualifiers and many more.

“I want to do my best when I represent my nation. I am not only looking forward to scoring goals for the Black Stars but I am looking to win trophies with the national team.”

Ghana will now turn their attention to the qualifiers for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, with their next match away to Kenya in March 2018.



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Ghana star’s progress to be stalled by injury? – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Newcastle United‘s Christian Atsu

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Nov 13, 2017. 13:00


Ghanaian star Christian Atsu will be hoping the progress he has made this season does not come to a grinding halt due to injury.

The Black Stars winger sustained a minor thigh injury while playing for Newcastle United against Bournemouth earlier this month.

Despite concerns over the issue, Atsu was still called up for Ghana’s dead-rubber 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt on November 12.

Yet in training for the match, Atsu broke down and his minor injury has now been aggravated all the way to a reported thigh muscle tear.

Quite how long the player will be sidelined remains to be seen, but regardless of the duration, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez is said to be furious at having one of his key attacking players put at risk.

Atsu looks highly likely to miss out on the Magpies’ next match, a high-profile Premier League clash away to Manchester United on Saturday evening – let’s hope it is not the first of many.



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Egypt, Ghana play to draw in final Group E fixture – WAFU Cup of Nations 2017


by
Staff Reporter

Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 20:10


Ghana were held to a 1-1 draw by Egypt in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday, in what was a mere formality as the Pharaohs now turn their attention to Russia.

Egypt had already qualified for a first World Cup in 28 years heading into the fixture in the Ashanti region and duly end top of Group E with 13 points from six matches.

A disappointing campaign for the Black Stars ends with them having accumulated seven points from their allotted fixtures – the tally ensuring a third place finish behind both the North African’s and Uganda.

Mubarak Wakaso – back on the international stage – expressed his intent in the early exchanges with Sherif Ekramy called into action on two occasions to deny the midfielder in the opening 15 minutes.

In whole, though, it was a rather uneventful opening stanza with Egypt’s first shot on target coming in the 43rd minute. Richard Ofori with a good save to deny Mahmoud ‘Trezequet’ Ibrahim from a tight angle.

Ghana enjoyed a late flurry, but they failed in their attempts to break the deadlock with the two teams tied at 0-0 heading into the tunnel at the break.

Egypt emerged with more drive following the interval and duly opened the scoring throughMahmoud ‘Shikabala’ Abdelrazek in the 61st minute.

The playmaker’s left-footed rocket leaving the Ghanaian shot-stopper with little chance as Egypt hit the front. Trezequet with the pin-point cross as Shikabala made no mistake.

Their lead, though, would last all but three minutes as Edwin Gyasi leveled matters in the 64th minute. His shot taking a wicked deflection off Aly Gabr before whistling past Ekramy.

Ghana pushed forward in search of the winner and had a chance to seal all three points in stoppage-time, but Daniel Amartey was unable to force the ball home from close range after Richmond Yiadom’s s rasping effort was fumbled by Ekramy.

Ghana (0) 1 (Abdelrazek 61′)

Egypt (0) 1 (Gyasi 64′)

Ghana: R.Ofori, Afful, Angenyenu, Nuhu, Amartey, Wakaso, Gyasi, E.Ofori, Dwamena (Yiadom 74′), Donsah (Waris 50′), Ampomah (Twumasi 41′).

Egypt: Ekramy, Gabr, Elmohamady, Rabiea (Samir 33′), Moursy, Abdelrazek (Elsaeyd 65′), Marei (Gamal 76′), Sobhi, Hafez, Elneny, Ibrahim.



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Egypt, Ghana play to draw in final Group E fixture – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Staff Reporter

Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 19:55


Ghana were held to a 1-1 draw by Egypt in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday, in what was a mere formality as the Pharaohs now turn their attention to Russia.

Egypt had already qualified for a first World Cup in 28 years heading into the fixture in the Ashanti region and duly end top of Group E with 13 points from six matches.

A disappointing campaign for the Black Stars ends with them having accumulated seven points from their allotted fixtures – the tally ensuring a third place finish behind both the North African’s and Uganda.

Mubarak Wakaso – back on the international stage – expressed his intent in the early exchanges with Sherif Ekramy called into action on two occasions to deny the midfielder in the opening 15 minutes.

In whole, though, it was a rather uneventful opening stanza with Egypt’s first shot on target coming in the 43rd minute. Richard Ofori with a good save to deny Mahmoud ‘Trezequet’ Ibrahim from a tight angle.

Ghana enjoyed a late flurry, but they failed in their attempts to break the deadlock with the two teams tied at 0-0 heading into the tunnel at the break.

Egypt emerged with more drive following the interval and duly opened the scoring throughMahmoud ‘Shikabala’ Abdelrazek in the 61st minute.

The playmaker’s left-footed rocket leaving the Ghanaian shot-stopper with little chance as Egypt hit the front. Trezequet with the pin-point cross as Shikabala made no mistake.

Their lead, though, would last all but three minutes as Edwin Gyasi leveled matters in the 64th minute. His shot taking a wicked deflection off Aly Gabr before whistling past Ekramy.

Ghana pushed forward in search of the winner and had a chance to seal all three points in stoppage-time, but Daniel Amartey was unable to force the ball home from close range after Richmond Yiadom’s s rasping effort was fumbled by Ekramy.

Ghana (0) 1 (Abdelrazek 61′)

Egypt (0) 1 (Gyasi 64′)

Ghana: R.Ofori, Afful, Angenyenu, Nuhu, Amartey, Wakaso, Gyasi, E.Ofori, Dwamena (Yiadom 74′), Donsah (Waris 50′), Ampomah (Twumasi 41′).

Egypt: Ekramy, Gabr, Elmohamady, Rabiea (Samir 33′), Moursy, Abdelrazek (Elsaeyd 65′), Marei (Gamal 76′), Sobhi, Hafez, Elneny, Ibrahim.



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2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier: Ghana 1-1 Egypt – AS IT HAPPENED – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Mohamed Salah of Egypt (r) celebrates goal with Abdallah El Said

by
Bertin Basson

Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 19:20


Good afternoon and welcome to AfricanFootball.com for our LIVE COVERAGE of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier between Ghana and Egypt from the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, on 12 November 2017.

Ghana: R.Ofori, Afful, Angenyenu, Nuhu, Amartey, Wakaso, Gyasi, E.Ofori, Dwamena (Yiadom 74′), Donsah (Waris 50′), Ampomah (Twumasi 41′).

Egypt: Ekramy, Gabr, Elmohamady, Rabiea (Samir 33′), Moursy, Abdelrazek (Elsaeyd 65′), Marei (Gamal 76′), Sobhi, Hafez, Elneny, Ibrahim.

AS IT HAPPENED UPDATES:

FULL-TIME: Ghana 1-1 Egypt 

90+4′ Glorious late chance for the hosts, but they are unable to force the ball into the back of the net as the two teams ultimately share the spoils in Kumasi.

90′ Four minutes added.

87′ Sherif Ekramy the next into the referee’s book.

85′ Mubarak Wakaso goes into the referee’s book.

84′ The Black Stars doing all the playing as we enter the final exchanges of the clash. Daniel Amartey and Harrison Afful getting involved in attacks as they go in search of the winner.

75′ Into the final exchanges in Kumasi and it is anyone’s game really. Ghana looking the more likely, but Egypt are always dangerous on the counter-attack.

64′ GOAL! Edwin Gyasi pulls the hosts level. Perfect response as his deflected effort whistles past Sherif Ekramy.

61′ GOAL! Shikabala rattles the back of the net with an unstoppable shot following a pin-point cross by Trezequet. His left-footed drive leaving Richard Ofori with little chance.

56′ Ghana now turning on the style, but Raphael Dwamena is found wanting in front of goal once more. His tame effort flies harmlessly wide after being left unmarked inside the area.

48′ Great save once more by Richard Ofori – this time to deny Mahmoud ‘Shikabala’ Abdelrazek who’s left-footed rocket looked destined for the back of the net.

46′ Second half is underway in Kumasi.

HALF-TIME: Ghana 0-0 Egypt 

45′ Ghana with a flurry of chances in the closing stages of the half, but it comes to nothing for the Black Stars.

43′ SAVE! Great stop by Richard Ofori to keep out Mahmoud ‘Trezequet’ Ibrahim’s rasping effort. First shot on target for the Pharaohs as we enter the final few minutes of the half.

41′ Opoku Ampomah’s injury is worse than initially thought and he will be replaced. Both teams forced into early substitutions.

38′ Ghana continue to be the aggressor, but Egypt’s defence is holding firm for the time being. Opoku Ampomah leaves the pitch on a stretcher following  a nasty clash, but he looks to be okay to continue…

30′ Half-hour played in Kumasi and the game is yet to spark into life, with the match pretty much assembling the dead-rubber it is.

21’CHANCE! Opoku Ampomah sends Raphael Dwamena through on goal, but the latter is unable to provide the finishing touches to what was a delightful defence-splitting pass.

15′  Mubarak Wakaso with two early attempts at goal from range, but Sherif Ekramy is well positioned on both occasions to curb the danger.

11′ Mahmoud ‘Trezequet’ Ibrahim bursts into the area before firing his attempt wide of goal. Good work by Mahmoud ‘Shikabala’ Abdelrazek in the build-up to create the opportunity.

5′ Egypt getting in behind the Ghanaian defence early on in the clash, but Richard Ofori quick off his line on both occasions to extinguish the visitors attack.

1′ Kick-off in Kumasi!

– The Black Stars have nothing but pride to play for, with Egypt having already booked their place at next year’s World Cup in Russia. The Pharaohs returning to the world stage for the first time since 1990.



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Christian Atsu to miss Ghana v Egypt, doubtful for Newcastle’s next match – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 12:00


Christian Atsu has been ruled out of Ghana’s final 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt later today due to a thigh injury, and is a major doubt for Newcastle United’s next Premier League assignment.

The Black Stars will host the already-qualified Pharaohs in a dead-rubber clash in Kumasi, but they will do so without their flying winger.

Atsu picked up a thigh injury and pulled out of Ghana’s training in Kumasi on Wednesday. Further tests have confirmed that the 25-year-old has suffered a thigh muscle tear and is definitely out of contention for match against Egypt.

This is bad news not just for the Black Stars, but also for Newcastle United. Atsu has been one of manager Rafa Bentiez’s more potent attacking players but looks set for a spell on the sidelines.

Atsu is a major doubt for the Magpies’ next Premier league match, a high-profile trip to old Trafford to face Manchester United on Saturday 18 November.

In other Ghana news, captain Asamoah Gyan has also been ruled out of today’s match due to injury, while Patrick Twumasi is doubtful after taking a knock to the ankle in a warm-up match against Glow Lamp Academy.



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Asamoah Gyan, Christian Atsu doubtful for Ghana v Egypt – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Basem Morsy of Egypt (L) in action against Christian Atsu of Ghana

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Nov 09, 2017. 15:30


Ghana have been dealt two blows ahead of their 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt this weekend after both Asamoah Gyan and Christian Atsu limped out of training yesterday.

Atsu missed Tuesday’s training session and was forced to withdraw from Wednesday’s workout as concern over his reported thigh strain increased.

Black Stars team doctors will continue to assess the player ahead of the match against Egypt in Kumasi on Sunday.

Gyan also withdrew from Wednesday’s training with a suspected thigh problem, and he will be assessed in Accra today.

The veteran striker has battled against repeated injuries throughout the last couple of years of his career and is now a major doubt for the clash against the Pharaohs.



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Egypt suffer massive blow as Mohamed Abdel-Shafy ruled out of Ghana clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


epa05630301 Mohamed Abdel Shafy of Egypt (R) in action against Emmanuel Agyemang of Ghana during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at Borg Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 13 November 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Nov 07, 2017. 20:00


Egypt are set to face Ghana without the services of left-back Mohamed Abdel-Shafy due to injury, the Egyptian Football Association have confirmed on Monday.

The 32-year-old Al Ahly defender has been withdrawn from the Pharaohs squad. This will be the first game he misses since the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign started.

According to the national team doctor, Mohamed Abou El-Ela, he revealed that Abdel-Shafy needs a week to return to full training after he picked up an injury with his club.

SCHALKE COACH EXPLAINS NABIL BENTALEB SNUB

Abdel-Shafy’s absence may present a chance for 21-year-old Karim Hafez, but coach Hector Cuper might also use Ahmed Fathi or Omar Gaber at the left-back position.

Hafez made his international debut in a friendly against Malawi in August 2015, but his only competitive appearance for the Pharaohs came against Morocco in the quarter-finals of the 2017 CAF African Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Although they have qualified for the World Cup next year in Russia, the Pharaohs will face the Black Stars on Sunday, November 12 at Cape Coast Stadium.



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Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah explains why he snubbed locally-based players – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Graeme Jackson

Sunday Nov 05, 2017. 14:00


Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah has explained why he opted against selecting locally-based players for next weekend’s 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt.

The Black Stars tactician didn’t name a single home-based outfield player in the squad for the clash with the Pharaohs.

Only Aduana Stars goalkeeper Joseph Addo represents the domestic league in Appiah’s latest selection.

“The local boys finished the league last two weeks, so how do you use players who have finished the league,” the former Ghana skipper told Graphic Sports.

Last month, Appiah handed debuts to Vincent Atingah (Hearts of Oak) and Isaac Twum (Inter Allies) in a friendly win over Saudi Arabia in Jeddah.

He has also previously called up Winful Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak), Gideon Waja (WAFA SC), Samuel Sarfo (Liberty Professionals) and Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea).

Ghana will host already-qualified Egypt at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on November 12.



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Liverpool star Mohamed Salah excluded from Egypt squad for Ghana clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Nov 02, 2017. 10:30


Egypt coach Hector Cuper has announced his 25-man squad to face the Black Stars of Ghana in their final Group E match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers next week.

The Pharaohs coach has called up nine local-based players for the clash on November 12.

Cuper has decided to give Liverpool winger Mohamed Salah a break from playing as they have already qualified for the World Cup in Russia.

“Cuper decided to call nine local-based players for Ghana match (six from Ahly and the remaining three from Zamalek),” national team supervisor Ehab Leheta announced in a statement.

BRILLIANT KHUZWAYO HINTS AT KAIZER CHIEFS EXIT

Egypt’s 25-man squad for Ghana match:

Goalkeepers: Essam El-Hadary (Taawoun, Saudi), Ahmed El-Shennawi (Zamalek), Sherif Ekramy (Ahly)

Defenders: Omar Gaber (Basel, Switzerland) Ahmed Fathi, Saad Samir, Ramy Rabia (Ahly), Ali Gabr (Zamalek), Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa, England), Mohamed Abdel-Shafi (Ahly Jeddah, KSA), Ahmed Hegazy (West Bromwich, England), Karim Hafiz (Lens, France)

Midfielders: Moemen Zakareya , Abdallah El-Said (Ahly), Tarek Hamed (Zamalek), Mohamed Elneny (Arsenal, England), Mahmoud “Trezeguet” Hassan (Kasimpasa, Turkey), Sam Morsi (Wigan, England), Ramadan Sobhi (Stoke City, England), Mahmoud “Shikabala” Abdel-Razek (Al-Raed, Saudi Arabia)

Forwards: Ahmed Hassan “Kouka” (Braga, Portugal), Mahmoud Kahraba (Ittihad Jeddah, KSA), Amr Gamal (Bidvest Wits, South Africa), Amr Warda (CD Feirense, Portugal), Amr Marei (Etoile du Sahel, Tunisia)



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Thomas Partey ruled out of Ghana v Egypt clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Nov 01, 2017. 18:00


Ghana’s Thomas Partey has been ruled out of the final 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt later this month.

The Atletico Madrid midfielder is ineligible for the dead-rubber match at Cape Coast Stadium on November 12 due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

The 24-year-old will be sorely missed by the Black Stars, having shown great form for both the national team and his club side Atletico Madrid this season.

Partey notably scored a hat-trick in Ghana’s 5-1 win over Congo in an earlier qualifier, while yesterday evening he netted his first UEFA Champions League goal in Atletico’s 1-1 draw with Qarabag.

In Partey’s absence, Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah has handed opportunities to the likes of Nasiru Mohammed and Nana Opoku Ampomah.

Ghana squad:

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Maritzburg, South Africa), Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars, Ghana), Lawrence Ati (Sochaux, France).

Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Daniel Opare (Augsburg, Germany), Lumor Agbenyenu (Portimonse, Portugal), Abas Mohammed (Harrisburg City, USA), Nicholas Opoku (Club Africain, Tunisia), Kasim Nuhu (Young Boys, Switzerland), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England).

Midfielders: Joseph Attamah (Istanbul Basaksehir, Turkey), Mubarak Wakaso (Alaves, Spain), Ebenezer Ofori (Stuttgart, Germany), Godfred Donsah (Bologna, Italy), Nasiru Mohammed (BK Hacken, Sweden), Patrick Twumasi (Astana FC, Kazakhstan), Nana Ampomah (Waasland-Beveren, Belgium), Christian Atsu (Newcastle United, England), Edwin Gyasi (Aalesund, Norway).

Forwards: Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Asamoah Gyan (Kayerispor, Turkey), Majeed Waris (Lorent, France), Boakye Yiadom (Crvena Zvezda, Serbia).



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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Christian Atsu – Ghana winger to tear into Burnley tonight – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 30, 2017. 16:00


Christian Atsu will have the chance to tear into Burnley’s defence when Newcastle United head to Turf Moor for a Premier League clash tonight.

The Ghanaian winger has appeared in all nine of the Magpies’ league matches thus far in the 2017/18 season and has played a key role in their strong start to the campaign.

With one goal and two assists, there is still room for Atsu to improve in the final third of the field, but his effort and endeavour have won over United’s fans.

The former Chelsea man has also had his place as a regular starter defended by manager Rafa Benitez.

The Spaniard has been asked why he has opted to field Atsu ahead of Jacob Murphy – a more expensive signing.

“You can use the money [the fee for Murphy] as an excuse for anything but Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu also cost us money,” Benitez told the Chronicle.

“The main thing is not the money. We signed a player for four or five years – who is a young player – who needed Premier League experience.

“He is getting better. In every training session, there is improvement from him and he is working hard trying to get better.

“I am really pleased with everything. I think he will be a good player for us during the season and also in the future. He is still a young player,” he added.

Atsu is set to start for Newcastle tonight, with the match at Turf Moor set to kick-off at 22h00 CAT.



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Kwesi Ndoum threatens Wilfred Palmer with legal action over bribery allegations – Ghana Premier League 2017


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Thursday Oct 26, 2017. 17:00


Elmina Sharks owner, Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom, has vowed to sue Wilfred Osei Palmer in court for accusing him of bribing players in the Premier League, insisting that the Ghana FA Executive Committee member has ‘bitten off more than he can chew’.

Palmer, who is also the President of Tema Youth, fired a broadside at the Presidential Candidate of the the Progressive People’s Party, insisting he has no moral authority to make claims about match fixing.

Palmer accused Ndoum of involvement in match fixing in the wake of the latter’s claims that some clubs in Ghana influence referees in the Premier League.

Club officials have been trading accusations of match fixing with Aduana Stars CEO Albert Commey, accusing Nduom of attempting to bribe referee Uriah Glah ahead of their Premier League match in the penultimate cash between the two sides in Dormaa.

Nduom accused Aduana Stars of influencing the referee, leading to their defeat and Palmer hit back by accusing the PPP candidate of also influencing Tema Youth players when the two sides clashed in the latter part of the season.

The politician says he will take legal action against Palmer to prove that he is innocent of all the accusations leveled against him.

“I am asking my lawyers to take him to court to prove this allegation. And while they are doing this, they will rope in all the others who have come to the media with similar accusations,” Ndoum wrote on his Facebook page.

“I have been through 2nd Division, 1st Division and now Premier. Some think that I am new to this. They are wrong. They have bitten more than they can chew.

“Time for discipline in the GPL!”

Ghana FA’s Ethics Committee has launched an investigation into claims of match fixing and bribery in the league.

Desmond Decker



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Ghana FA opens formal investigation into match fixing


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 25, 2017. 18:00


The Ghana Football Association’s (GFA) Ethics Committee has opened a formal investigation into allegations of corruption, bribery and match fixing in the country’s domestic game.

GHANASoccernet reports that, “Club officials have been trading accusations in the media with some brazen with their claims that match fixing, bribery of referees and corruption is rife in the game.”

In response, the Ethics Committee has promised to investigate the claims and tackpe any untoward behaviour in Ghanaian football.

“The formal investigation will be swift and thorough as those in authority who have made public and private statements about the issue will be invited to assist in the investigation,” the statement from the Ethics Committee read.

“Officials who have made general and specific corruption and match fixing allegations will be invited while accused individuals will also be invited.

“The media and the general public are highly encouraged to assist the Committee with valuable information even on the condition of anonymi



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Ghana U-17 goalkeeper apologies for error in quarterfinal loss – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


Danlad Ibrahim and Faisal Osman of Ghana during the 2017 Under 17 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Ghana and Mali at the Libreville Stadium in Gabon on 28 May 2017 ©Samuel Shivambu/BackpagePix

by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 11:00


Ghana U-17 goalkeeper Danlad Ibrahim has apologised for his error which cost the team a goal in their World Cup quarterfinal loss to Mali this past weekend.

Ibrahim was directly responsible for Djemoussa Traore’s goal, which proved to be the decisive strike in Mali’s 2-1 win.

The goalkeeper attempted to sprint off his line to make a clearance, but his misjudgment only made it easier for Traore to find the back of the net.

“Sometimes when playing in the rains, the gloves get so wet and slippery,” Ibrahim told the GNA.

“I made my mind to push the ball out because I didn’t want to take the chance of trying to grab it. There was not so much power behind the ball and I didn’t get the movement of the ball well.

“It pains me a lot that the team couldn’t go beyond this stage. We had plans of taking the name of Ghana high in this competition but it didn’t work ou



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Ghana FA changes venue for Egypt qualifier – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


epa05630344 Ahmed Fathi of Egypt (L) in action against Christian Atsuw of Ghana during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at Borg Al Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 13 November 2016. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Graeme Jackson

Monday Oct 23, 2017. 12:30


The Ghana Football Association (GFA) have announced that their final 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt on November 12 has been moved to a new venue.

The final Group E match – which is a dead rubber as the Pharaohs have already secured their berth at Russia 2018 – was originally set to be held at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi.

It has now been shifted to the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, with the GFA opting to move away from the Kumasi venue where the Black Stars were booed by home fans after being held 1-1 by Congo in early September.

The Cape Coast Stadium was the primary venue for the recent WAFU Cup of Nations, with the home side receiving strong support as they powered to the regional title.

It is hoped that the Black Stars will receive similarly strong support in a match which has nothing at stake other than a chance to move up the FIFA world rankings.

The decision also suits Egypt, as they will now have no more than a two-hour bus drive from the capital Accra to the match venue.

The Egyptian Football Association confirmed the receipt of an official letter from their Ghanaian counterparts informing them of the venue change.

“Ghana changed the venue for technical reasons,” the EFA said in a statement.



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Mali beat Ghana to reach U17 FIFA World Cup semifinals – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Helder Ribiero

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 15:44


Mali scored through Hadji Drame and Djemmoussa Traore to secure a spot in the semi-finals of the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup on Saturday after beating Ghana 2-1 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati in India.

The Black Starlets found the back of the net courtesy of Kudus Mohamed through a penalty.

The 12th minute saw the Malian defence failing to clear a dangerous ball in the box and the rebound fell to Eric Ayiah whose shot narrowly missed the target.

Three minutes later, the Les Aigles managed to break the deadlock through Drame. A through ball for the forward penetrated the Ghanaian defence before unleashing a powerful shot on the near post, 1-0.

The 30th minute saw coach Paa Kwesi Appiah’s troops trying to break the stubborn Malian defence, but they were not clinical upfront.

With five minutes to the half, Ghana thought they have found the back of the net when Ibrahim Sulley beat goalkeeper Youssouf Koita on his near post, but the referee called for a foul on a Malian defender.

It was 1-0 at the interval in favour of Jonas Komla’s men.

Fresh from the tunnel, Ghana upped their ante as they probed for an equaliser, but they failed to trouble the solid Malian defence.

The Les Aigles doubled their lead through Djemmoussa Traore after a silly error by the keeper. Danlad Ibrahim making it 2-0 on the hour mark.

The Black Starlets received a penalty after a foul in the box by defender, Fode Konate allowing Mohamed to convert from the spot in the 70th minute, 2-1.

It was end to end stuff in the final 15 minutes, but both sides struggled in the rainy conditions and fired blanks in the final third.

The dying stages of the encounter produced no clear cut opportunities in front of goal as Mali cruised into the semis whilst Ghana crashed out of the tournament.

Ghana: (0) 1 (Konate 70′)
Mali: (1) 2 (Drame 15′, Traore 61′)

Mali: Koita, Haidara, Traore, Konate, Camara, Drame (Camara 80′), Jiddou (Doucoure 75′), Diaby, Samake, Kane, Ndiaye

Ghana: Ibrahim, Yakubu, Ayiah, Sulley (Sadiq 55′), Mohamed, Tokou (E. Mohamed 74′), Yusuf, Leveh (Danso 62′), Mensah, Alhasan, Idriss



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FIFA U17 World Cup: Mali 2-1 Ghana – As it happened – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Saturday Oct 21, 2017. 15:24


Welcome to AfricanFootball.com’s LIVE ASW of the 2017 U17 FIFA World Cup quarter-final clash between Mali and Ghana.

The encounter will be staged at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati (India) on Saturday, October 21 2017.

The Black Starlets are out to claim a win and book a spot at the semi-finals as they target to lift the trophy for the third time.

Meanwhile, the Les Aigles are looking to rectify their errors after finishing as runners-up in 2015 in Chile.

Both coaches, Paa Kwesi Fabin and Jonas Kokou Komla will motivate their troops to ensure they are through to the next stage of the prestigious tournament.

LINEUPS:

MALI: Youssouf KOITA (GK), Boubacar HAIDARA, Djemoussa TRAORE, Fode KONATE, Mohamed CAMARA (C), Hadji DRAME, Salam JIDDOU, Abdoulaye DIABY, Mamadou SAMAKE, Ibrahim KANE, Lassana NDIAYE.

GHANA: Danlad IBRAHIM (GK), Najeeb YAKUBU, Eric AYIAH (C), Ibrahim SULLEY, Kudus MOHAMMED, Emmanuel TOKU, Abdul YUSIF, Gabriel LEVEH, Gideon MENSAH, Rashid ALHASSAN, Mohammed IDDRISS.

COMMENTARY:

Mali are through to the semi-finals of the U17 FIFA World Cup. Ghana are out of the global youth tournament.

90+4′ It is full time in India.

90+4′ Mali sub: Sidibe on for Djemoussa Traore

90+4′ The referee has added four minutes.

90′ Mali’s Mane tries a long range effort and it goes wide not troubling the keeper. We are into the stoppage time.

80′ Mali sub: Camara on for Drame

80′ We enter the final 10 minutes of the encounter as both African sides are battling for a spot in the semi-finals. Ghana 1-2 Mali

75′ Mali sub: Doucoure on for Jiddou



74′ Ghana sub: Aminu Mohamed on for Emmanuel Tokou

73′ Mohamed Camara booked

70′ PENALTY: Ghana receive a penalty after a foul in the box by Fode Konate. Kudus Mohamed converted from the spot. Ghana 1-2 Mali

62′ Ghana sub: Danso on for Leveh

63′ GOAL – Mali have doubled the lead through Djemmoussa Traore after a silly error by the keeper. Mali 2-0 Ghana

59′ The Black Starlets pushing harder but harder yet they fail to hit the target.

55′ Ghana sub: Sulley off for Ibrahim Sadiq

52′ Fouls dominate the encounter in the heart of the park, Fabin’s men still probing for an equaliser.

48′ The Black Starlets are back with more intent, they take a shot through Ayiah and Koita makes a brilliant save to concede a corner.

46′ Second half resumes at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati (India).

45′ Half time in India: Mali 1-0 Ghana

44′ Ghana thought they have found the back of the net when Sulley beat Koita on his near post, but the referee called for a foul on a Malian defence.

40′ Five minutes remaining in the quarter-final encounter as both African nations are chasing a spot in the Last Four. However, Jonas Komla’s men are leading 1-0

36′ Ghana’s Yakubu booked for a two-footed foul.

35′ battle lines are drawn in the heart of the park and fouls are commited in the muddy surface.

30′ Paa Kwesi Fabin’s charges still trying to break up the Malian defence in search of an equaliser.

27′ Ghana must fix their defence, Mali running through them on the right flank. But their final shot goes wide. Mali 1-0 Ghana

22′ Ghana commit a foul, a set piece for Mali right on the edge of the area. Salam hit is wide.

18′ Ghana tried to respond from a set piece and it hits the roof of the net for a goal kick.

A through ball for the forward penetrated the Ghanaian defence before unleashing a powerful shot on the near post. Ghana 0-1 Mali

14′ GOAL – Mali break the deadlock through Hadji Drame

10′ There are no goals in the encounter in the opening 10 minutes.

08′ Mali penetrate the Black Starlets’ defence and they take a shot through Kane but it goes wide.

05′ Both camps exchanging the ball possession, Mohamed Idriss takes a shot but it sails wide off target.

02′ It was bucketing in India at the venue, the pitch is waterlogged. But the game goes on.

01′ Match gets underway



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Ghana star Boateng prepares for an emotional game – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


Frankfurt’s Kevin-Prince Boateng celebrates after scoring

by
Austin Ditlhobolo

Friday Oct 20, 2017. 12:00


Eintracht Frankfurt forward Kevin-Prince Boateng is relishing the prospect of facing his former side, Borussia Dortmund this weekend.

Frankfurt are set to host Dortmund in a German Bundesliga encounter at the Commerzbank-Arena on Saturday.

“Definitely – I always enjoy playing against my former clubs,” Boateng told his club’s official website.

“I had a very good time at Dortmund. I’ll come face to face with a lot of old friends, so it’s going to be very emotional.

The Ghana international spent the second round of the 2008/09 season on a short-term loan deal at Dortmund from English side Tottenham Hotspur.

“I look forward to every game though, particularly at home. Everyone who has set foot in our stadium knows about the incredible atmosphere here,” he continued.

“The Frankfurt fans are exceptional. It’s going to be a great game on Saturday and I obviously hope we can get a positive result for our fans.”

“Obviously, Dortmund didn’t reach their full potential in their last two games, but we know exactly what we’re up against,” the 30-year-old explained.

“Overall I regard Dortmund as one of the strongest teams in Europe. They play the most attractive brand of football imaginable.

“I’m convinced we’ll be able to create chances against them, though.”

He has made eight league appearances for Frankfurt this season – netting once in the process.



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Mali, Ghana renew rivalry in U-17 World Cup – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


Colombia’s Brayan Gomez (L) in action against Ghana’s Emmanuel Toku (R) during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group A soccer match between Colombia and Ghana at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, 06 October 2017. EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

by
Graeme Jackson

Thursday Oct 19, 2017. 18:00


Mali and Ghana will renew their rivalry at the U-17 level when they meet in a World Cup quarterfinal at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday, kick-off at 13h30 CAT.

Mali earned their place in the last eight by finishing runners-up to Paraguay in Group B, before thrashing Iraq 5-1 in their last 16 clash on Tuesday, while Ghana topped Group A and then ousted fellow Africans Niger 2-0 on Wednesday.

These teams are familiar foes and it is fitting that they are the continent’s last representatives, having met in the final of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon back in May.

In that match in Libreville it was Mali who claimed a narrow 1-0 victory – thanks to a first-half goal from Mamadou Samake – to be crowned African champions at the Black Starlets’ expense.

Ghana coach Paa Kwesi Fabin was not happy with the way his side wasted chances against Niger, but is still confident of their chances against the Young Eagles.

“Definitely it is a concern and we are working on it,” Fabin told reporters in regards to his team’s finishing.

“It’s a work in progress and definitely when it’s an U-17 team, you know that definitely they will keep making such mistakes and I will keep correcting them until we get what we want.

“I’m satisfied with the two goals we scored and in fact it has taken us to the next stage.”

Fabin also believes his Ghana can go all the way in the tournament: “Definitely we are here and I believe every team that has qualified hold the mentality to win the trophy, so we are thinking alike.”

Mali coach Komla, meanwhile, has fended off allegations that his side are fielding overage players. Iraq coach Qahran Al-Rubaye claimed the Africans looked like “an U-23 team” in the last 16 match.

“In football, it is important to accept the results. In a tournament of this stature, there are clear rules and testing for every player is performed before the World Cup. We have passed all the required tests and guidelines, so you have to accept it,” explained Komla.

The winner of the Mali-Ghana match will play either Spain or Iran in the semifinals on Wednesday 25 October in Navi Mumbai.



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U-17 World Cup: Ghana 2-0 Niger – As it happened – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup – India


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 15:23


Welcome to coverage of the 2017 U-17 World Cup last 16 match between Ghana and Niger from the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai.

Commentary:
All times CAT

90+6′ – Full time – Done and dusted, Ghana are deserved winners and will face fellow Africans Mali in the quarterfinals on Saturday! A brave effort from Niger, who can take pride from having made it to the second round in their tournament debut.

90+2′ – Yellow card – Niger’s Soumana booked for a rash challenge in midfield.

90+1′ – Substitution – Niger’s second change sees Wa Massamba make way for Hamid Galissoune.

90′ – GOAL! Ghana 2-0 Niger – Danso with a superb long-range strike to make it 2-0 and that has surely killed off Niger!

86′ – Penalty saved! Ayiah takes the spot kick and looks for the same part of the net he scored in from the first half, but Lawali makes a fine save this time!

85′ – Substitution – Richard Danso replaces Toku in Ghana’s final change.

84′ – Penalty! Another spot kick to Ghana, with Idrissa tripping Toku in the box. A clear foul, no doubt about it, and this is Ghana’s chance to kill off Niger.

81′ – Lawali and Yakubu collide at a Ghana corner kick. It’s adjudged a foul from the Black Starlets player and both are down receiving treatment.

78′ – Substitution – Mohammed Iddriss replaces Gyamfi in Ghana’s second change.

77′ – Substitution – Karim Tinni replaces Sofiane in Niger’s first change.

76′ – Niger ‘keeper Lawali is now down and calling for treatment. We’ve had several injury breaks in this second half…

73′ – Mensah crosses from the right, Arko-Mensah gets up to meet the ball but sends his header well off target.

70′ – Twenty minutes of regulation time to play. Ghana’s one-goal lead is a perilous one, though Niger have yet to really threaten in the final third.

66′ – Mensah with the miss of the tournament, somehow putting the ball over the bar from just a metre or so out! It was easier to score than put it over!

65′ – Toku with a great dummy to open space for a curling shot which is well saved by Lawali! The best moment of the second half so far.

64′ – Substitution – Ghana’s first change sees the injured Owusu make way for John Otu.

62′ – Owusu has gone down for Ghana and he’s calling for a substitution.

61′ – Past the hour mark in Navi Mumbai, Ghana hold the advantage thanks to Eric Ayiah’s penalty late in the first half.

58′ – Ghana’s Toku receiving some treatment after suffering a kick to the right shin. He’ll be stretchered off and that could well be the end of his game…

56′ – Ghana with a sustained spell of pressure, but as Ayiah tries to get a shot away on the edge of the box he is crowded out by several orange-clad defenders.

52′ – Niger blow a great attacking opportunity with an over-hit pass. The Young Menas have wasted several such chances through the match.

48′ – Yellow card – Ghana’s Mensah is booked for a rough aerial challenge.

46′ – Back underway in the second half, no changes from either team at the break.

45+5′ – Half time – Ghana lead at the break thanks to that late, late penalty. Given the Black Starlets’ dominance, you’d say they are good value for their one-goal advantage.

45+4′ – GOAL! Ghana 1-0 Niger – Ayiah dusts himself off and coolly finishes from the penalty to put Ghana ahead!

45+3′ – Penalty! – Idrissa with a clear foul on Ayiah and Ghana have a spot kick late in the half!

45+1′ – Arko-Mensah with a chance to play in a dangerous cross from a free kick out wide, but the midfielder puts his delivery straight for a goal kick.

45′ – There will be four minutes of added time.

43′ – Namata makes a superb tackle on Arko-Mensah in the penalty area… he had to time that perfectly to prevent giving away a spot kick.

40′ – Lawali has to make a save from Yakubu’s awkward cross from the right flank which threatened to drift into the goal.

39′ – Toku with a fiercely-hit shot which is blocked by a defender, before Ayiah sends an effort high and wide from the rebound.

37′ – Snappy passing from Ghana to open up space for Sulley to shoot, his effort was scuffed at goal and comfortably saved by Lawali.

34′ – Ayiah with a sight of goal, but he snatches at it too quickly and slices the ball wide of the mark.

33′ – Niger’s Sofiane steps on the ankle of Toku and is perhaps a little fortunate not to be booked for that challenge.

30′ – Idrissa with a desperate clearance from Ayiah’s dangerous ball into the box. It seems only a matter of time until Ghana find a way through…

27′ – Ghana corner kick and goalkeeper Lawali makes an excellent punch under pressure. Ghana’s Owusu is penalised for an aerial foul on the gloves-man.

25′ – Fine play by Ghana, Arko-Mensah has a shot from the edge of the box and Lawali makes a super save to keep it at 0-0! The closest we’ve come to a goal in this match.

23′ – Midway through the first half, goalless in Navi Mumbai. Ghana have looked the better team thus far, but Niger are giving a good account of themselves.

19′ – Ayiah looks to sneak in behind to meet a long ball, but he’s penalised for a push on Niger defender Idrissa.

17′ – Great goalkeeping from Ghana’s Danlad as he comes off his line to emphatically punch clear a dangerous cross from Wa Massamba. Took a knock for his troubles, but he’ll be fine after a bit of treatment.

16′ – Past the quarter hour mark, still goalless between Ghana and Niger. No genuine chances at either end so far.

13′ – Niger’s Ibrahim looks set to break free on the counter attack, but Mensah comes across to make a strong sliding tackle.

10′ – Lovely footwork from Ghana’s Arko-Mensah down the left flank. The Black Starlets look much the more settled and confident side thus far.

8′ – Niger with a couple of corner kicks, but they don’t threaten Ghana from either of them. The Young Menas will need to make the most of their set pieces.

7′ – Gyamfi is back on his feet after some ‘magic spray’, looks like he’ll be okay.

6′ – Ghana’s Gyamfi looks to have picked up a knee and/or ankle injury in challenge with Sofiane.

4′ – Another corner for Ghana, this time Sulley gets a head on it but his effort is mis-timed and sent well wide of the target.

2′ – Early half chance for Ghana’s Sulley as he gets in behind the defence, but goalkeeper Lawali comes quickly off his line and ensures it’s only a corner kick.

1′ – Kick-off – We are underway in Navi Mumbai! Ghana wear all-white, while Niger are in all-orange.

13h20 – A reminder that the winner of this match will meet Mali (who thrashed Iraq 5-1 yesterday) in an all-African quarterfinal on Saturday.

13h10 – Today’s clash will be handled by Portuguese referee Artur Soares Dias.

13h00 – Half an hour to kick-off, here are the starting line-ups:

Ghana: Ibrahim Danlad, Edmund Arko-Mensah, Najeeb Yakubu, Eric Ayiah, Ibrahim Sulley, Emmanuel Toko, Gabriel Leveh, Bismark Owusu, Gideon Mensah, Rashid Alhassan, Isaac Gyamfi

Niger: Khaled Lawali, Yacine Wa Massamba, Nasser Mahaman, Farouk Idrissa, Inoussa Amadou, Habibou Sofiane, Kader Aboubacar, Rachid Soumana, Ibrahim Boubacar, Ibrahim Namata, Salim Abdourahmane



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Ghana U-17 coach: I believe we will beat Niger – 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup


by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 14:30


Ghana U-17 coach Paa Kwesi Fabin has expressed confidence that his side will defeat Niger in their World Cup last 16 clash later today.

The Black Starlets will face the Young Menas at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, kick-off at 13h30 CAT.

Ghana were one of the more impressive teams in the pool stage, notably topping Group A head of Colombia and United States, while Niger only squeaked through as one of the best third-placed teams after finishing behind Brazil and Spain.

The teams have already met once this year, with the Black Starlets winning on penalties when the teams clashed in the semifinals of the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations back in May.

“Niger are a very determined side and looking at the matches they played in the group stage, it was an improved game as compared to their performance in the AFCON U-17 in Gabon,” said Fabin, as quoted by GhanaWeb.

“It won’t be an easy game on Wednesday at all for both sides, but we have prepared well to advance to the next stage.

“We are ready for the battle, we have prepared the boys psychologically and moreover this is a knock out stage so we are approaching the game with a winning mentality.

“In an association football anything at all can happen, but I believe we will beat Niger on Wednesday.

“In Gabon we wasted chances against them before winning on penalties, but I hope we will win in regulation time this time.

“Nobody should underestimate the Nigeriens, it will be a difficult game but hopefully we shall win.”

The winners will face Mali (who defeated Iraq 5-1 in their last 16 clash on Tuesday) in the quarterfinals on Saturday.



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Ghana overpower Niger to book quarterfinal berth


Colombia’s Brayan Gomez (L) in action against Ghana’s Emmanuel Toku (R) during the FIFA Under-17 World Cup 2017 group A soccer match between Colombia and Ghana at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi, India, 06 October 2017. EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

by
Graeme Jackson

Wednesday Oct 18, 2017. 13:35


Ghana have advanced into the quarterfinals of the U-17 World Cup after they defeated fellow Africans Niger 2-0 at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Wednesday.

The Black Starlets claimed victory thanks to goals from captain Eric Ayiah and super-sub Richard Danso late in each half. They will now face another African side, Mali, in their last eight clash in Guwahati on Saturday.

Ghana looked the more confident and settled team in the early stages, but they had to wait until the 25th minute for their first genuine effort on goal, with Edmund Arko-Mensah seeing his shot from the edge of the box parried away by Niger goalkeeper Khaled Lawali.

The Young Menas’ gloves-man made another save 12 minutes later when he got down to smother Ibrahim Sulley’s scuffed shot, as the Black Starlets continued to boss the game.

The first half looked set to end goalless, but in injury time Niger defender Farouk Idrissa clumsily fouled Eric Ayiah to give away a penalty. The Ghana captain took on the spot kick himself and coolly converted to see his side lead 1-0 at the break.

Similar to the first stanza, Ghana waited 20 minutes until their first notable effort on goal in the second, as Emmanuel Toku’s curling strike was turned away by Lawali.

The Black Starlets should have made it 2-0 a few moments later, but defender Gideon Mensah somehow put his close-range effort over the crossbar when it looked easier to score.

Ghana blew another chance to double their lead in the dying minutes when they were awarded another penalty (for another clumsy foul by Idrissa). However, this time Ayiah was denied by Lawali.

Yet the penalty miss wasn’t a costly one for the Black Starlets, who killed off Niger’s challenge when substitute Richard Danso fired home a powerful long-range drive which burst past the hands of Niger’s goalkeeper on its way into the back of the net.

Ghana (1) 2 (Ayiah 45+4’ pen, Danso 90’)

Niger 0

Ghana: Danlad, Arko-Mensah, Yakubu, Ayiah, Sulley, Toku (Danso 85’), Leveh, Owusu (Otu 64’), Mensah, Alhassan, Gyamfi (Iddriss 78’)

Niger: Lawali, Wa Massamba (Galissoune 90+1’), Mahaman, Idrissa, Amadou, Sofiane (Tinni 77’), K. Aboubacar, Soumana, Boubacar, Namata, Abdourahmane



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Egypt confirms a friendly against UAE ahead of Ghana clash – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers


epa06186689 Egyptian player Mohamed Salah (L) in action against Uganda player Godfrey Walusimbi (R) during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Uganda at Borg Al Arab stadium in Alexandria, Egypt, 05 September 2017. EPA/KHALED ELFIQI

by
Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 16:30


Ahead of their final Group E, 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Ghana on November 12, Egypt will play a friendly international match against the United Arab Emirates.

The Egyptian Football Association announced that the Pharaohs will be facing the UAE in a friendly match three days before their last match in the World Cup qualifiers against the Black Stars in Kumasi.

MOROCCO TO HOST 2018 CHAN FINALS AS EGYPT QUALIFY

Coach Hector Cuper’s men have qualified for the World Cup in Russia for the first time since 1990 after beating Congo 2-1 a week ago, thanks to a brace from Mohamed Salah.

The EFA received an official request earlier from their counterparts in the UAE which was approved by Egypt’s head coach.

It is expected that Cuper will field the players who missed out on playing in the qualifiers during the team’s match against the Black Stars.



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Dutch-born defender wants to play for Ghana – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa


by
Graeme Jackson

Tuesday Oct 17, 2017. 15:00


Dutch-born defender Derrick Luckassen has expressed his desire to represent Ghana at senior international level.

The 22-year-old centre-back plays his club football with Eredivisie giants PSV Eindhoven. He was born in Amsterdam and represented AZ Alkmaar though the early years of his professional career.

Luckassen has represented the Netherlands at junior levels, but wants to honour his family heritage by playing for the Black Stars.

“My father and mother both come from Ghana, so why not, if the opportunity comes I’m ready to honor it and do my best for the country,” he is quoted by Sportsworldghana.com.

“Though I was born and raised here in Amsterdam, I won’t hesitate to play for the Black Stars despite representing Holland at the U-17, U-20 and U-23 levels. I am ready to play for Ghana.”

Luckassen will hope to be called up by Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah for the team’s dead-rubber 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt next month.



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