Hello sports fans across the globe, today’s piece is in continuation of our special series on the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
Interestingly, the Group of death in the World Cup happens to fall on our neighbor and African representative Ghana. Ghana are in the World Cup finals with confidence and high expectations.
Those expectations have been tamed slightly after The Black Stars were drawn in Group G alongside three-time champions Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, and a Jurgen Klinsmann-led United States, whom Ghana defeated in both the 2006 and 2010 editions.
However, Ghana, who boast the likes of Kevin-Prince Boateng, Michael Essien and Asamoah Gyan in their ranks, will harbor ambitions of causing an upset of similar proportions to their journey into the quarter-finals in South Africa four years ago.
Ghana topped their qualifying group, which included 2012 African Cup of Nations champions Zambia, with five wins out of six games. They eventually booked their flight to Brazil by dismantling much-fancied Egypt 7-3 on aggregate, including a 6-1 home victory.
Current coach James Kwesi Appiah took over the reins of the national team in 2012, and became the first black African coach to take Ghana to the World Cup finals.
Best World Cup Result: Quarter-finals (2010)
Best Africa Cup of Nations Result: Winners (1963, 1965, 1978 & 1982)
Record Scorer: Edward Acquah & Kwasi Owusu (40)
Most Capped Player: Richard Kingson (90)
Coach: James Kwesi Appiah
Captain: Asamoah Gyan
Provisional 26-man Ghana 2014 World Cup Squad:
Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars).
Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), Jeffrey Schlupp (Leicester), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Jerry Akaminko (Kisehirspor), 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 (Sochaux), David Accam (Helsingborg).
The Coach: James Kwesi Appiah
James Kwesi Appiah, also known as Akwasi Appiah, has made big strides in his short managerial career so far, after a playing career which spanned ten years. A left-back by trade, Appiah played for his country between 1987 and 1992, appearing in two World Cup qualifying matches. Since then, Manchester City have given Appiah training towards becoming a coach, and he made use of that knowledge during his stint as Ghana’s assistant manager between 2007 and 2012, a period in which he also guided Ghana’s Under 23 side to All-Africa Games glory.
Player to Watch: Kevin-Prince Boateng
It’s never dull when former Tottenham Hotspur man Kevin-Prince Boateng is on the field, and the tattooed technician is sure to play a key role in Ghana’s 2014 World Cup campaign.
Despite being cleared to play for Ghana prior to the 2010 World Cup, the 26-year old has only represented his adopted nation 10 times, after emerging through the German youth ranks up until he was 22.
Boateng’s brother, Jerome, plays for Germany, and the pair made history in 2010 when they played against each other during the World Cup group stages, the first instance of brothers playing on opposing sides in an international fixture. Kevin-Prince has described the the group stages as the draw of his ‘dreams’.
Monday, June 16, 2014 v United States (23:00 GMT in Arena das Dunas, Natal)
Saturday, June 21, 2014 v Germany (20:00 GMT in EstadioCastelao, Fortaleza)
Thursday, June 26, 2014 v Portugal (17:00 GMT in Estadio Nacional, Brasilia)
There were some tough groups and some not so tough groups to come out of the World Cup draw, and unfortunately for Ghana, Group G falls under the ‘Group of death’ category. Germany and Portugal both possess an array of world-class talent, and will be the nailed on favorites to progress into the knockout stages.
Ghana’s best hope is to beat United States and steal a point off one, if not both, of the big guns. For that to happen, current top scorer Gyan will need to be at his scintillating best, and Boateng shall need to raise his game on the big stage. Ghana, though, look set to bow out at the first hurdle.
Join in the enthusiasm as you read these famous Ghanaian players who sacrificed their time. However, sometimes the games are inevitable.
Many team will fail in the World Cup in Brazil, not for lack of ability or brains or even courage but simply because they have never organized their energies around a goal.
Only goals and consistency make the difference in life.
Join me again for another edition, till then, have a nice day and poke in some goals for now and in the future.
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