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Ghana Again Africa’s Best Bet?

The Black Stars travel with the youngest World Cup squad to Brazil and many remember their heroics from 2010 when only Luis Suarez denied them to reach the semi-final. Ghana has been the best African side at the past two World Cup’s, but can they repeat this success after being drawn in the difficult Group G? Here our short team profile with all necessary stats.

World Cup history:

Ghana had not qualified for a senior World Cup until 2006, but from then they have impressed at world football’s biggest stage. At the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Ghana were the only African side to advance to the second round before being eliminated by Brazil. In 2010, they could even progress further and became only the third African nation to qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals. Had it not been for Luis Suarez handball in the 120th minute and the subsequent penalty miss, Ghana would have reached the semi-final, but we all know football can be a cruel game.

2010 World Cup campaign:

In 2010, Ghana were drawn in Group D. A 1-0 victory over Serbia and 1-1 draw against Australia were enough to progress despite losing 1-0 to Germany in the final group match. Ghana then defeated the USA 2-1 in the Round of 16, though, they had to go over 120 minutes. In the quarter-final, the Black Stars lost 5-3 on penalties to Uruguay.

How they qualified

Ghana were the strongest team of the group stage in the CAF qualification, after topping their group with five wins and only one defeat. In the qualification playoff they thrashed Egypt 6-1 in the first leg and could afford to lose the second leg 2-1 to progress 7-3 on aggregate.

Key players:

Team captain, Asamoah Gyan, was Ghana’s unlucky hero in South Africa. He had impressed with three goals throughout the tournament but missed the crucial penalty against Uruguay. He is only one goal away from becoming Ghana’s shared record all-time scorer and the Black Stars will need him to shine Brazil. Other key players are Sulley Muntari, Michael Essien and Kevin Prince-Boateng who should guide the inexperienced squad.

Coach:

James Kwesi Appiah was appointed head coach in April 2012 and is the first black African coach to take the country to the World Cup. He has received technical training from Manchester City and Liverpool and had been working as Ghana’s assistant coach between 2007 and 2012.

Ghana’s Group G Fixtures:

Date      Match                                   Venue

16/6       Ghana v USA                      Estadio das Dunas, Natal

21/6       Ghana v Germany             Estadio Castelao, Fortaleza

26/6       Ghana v Portugal              Estadio Nacional, Brasilia

Do you think Ghana can again be Africa’s best team in Brazil? Have your say in the comment section below.

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