Ghana clashes with Mexico today

Ghana’s Black Stars will get busy against El Tri of Mexico today at the NRG Stadium in Houston, USA in the first of two friendlies lined up for the team ahead of their next AFCON qualifier.

It will be the third time the two countries are facing off after the Mexicans defeated the Stars 1-0 in 2006 and 2-1 in 2008.

A contingent of 22 players arrived on Saturday night to acclimatise for the big game that is expected to try a number of the new faces in the team.

Missing from the team are the Ayew brothers – Andre and Jordan as well as Daniel Amartey who have been granted permission.

The team would also miss the services of Afriyie Acquah, Kwadwo Asamoah and injured Christian Atsu who is still recuperating from an injury sustained on duty for club, Newcastle.

Following the Stars delightful display against the Welias of Ethiopia in the AFCON 2019 qualifier in Kumasi, a lot of attention will be on the debuting trio of Raphael Dwamena, Thomas Agyepong and Lumor Agbenyenu of Munich 1860, Germany.

There have been talks on the local football scene over the competitiveness of the match with a section arguing that the Stars need not waste resources on a game that will see the Mexicans feature a second string team.

Despite featuring at the ongoing Confederations Cup in Russia, the Mexicans boast of an equally strong and talented second team that is preparing to feature in the South American Gold Cup.

Interestingly, a number of their first team players that are missing from the confederations Cup will all make an appearance against the Black Stars today.

Names such as goalkeeper Moises Munoz readily comes to mind just as Jesus Gallardo, Raul Lopez, Eric Gutierrez and Elias Hernandez who plies his trade for Leon FC.

Equally, Ghana would also rely on a number of fringe players that are yet to justify their inclusion into the team, creating a similar platform for the two countries to test their strength against each other.

Ghana’s squad also includes five players from the local league namely Winful Cobbinah, Samuel Sarfo, Richard Ofori, Joseph Addo and Nicholas Opoku from Berekum Chelsea.

The four-time African champions will face the United States in the second friendly three days later at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in Connecticut.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Addo Joseph (Aduana Stars) and Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)

Defenders: Lumor Agbenyenu (Munich 1860, Germany),Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew), Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea), Jerry Akaminko ( Eskiserhispor, Turkey),  John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumalia (Al Gharafa, Qatar), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew, USA), Samuel Sarfo (Liberty, Ghana)

Midfielders: Mohammed Abu (Columbus Crew, USA), Isaac Sackey (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Ofori Ebenezer (Stuttgart, Germany), Kwadwo Poku (FC Miami), Winful Kwaku Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda, Holland), Gershon Koffie (New England Revolution)

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Alhi, UAE), Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich, Switzerland), Majeed Abdul Waris (Lorient FC, France) and David Accam (Chicago Fire).

By Andrew Nortey

 

 

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