Ghana ready to glow against Bafana Bafana

An evening of furious attacking football from Ghana appears to be on the plate as the Black Stars take on South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the opening game of the 2021 African Cup of Nations qualifiers at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium today.

It is the home team’s first assignment since the wretched Nations Cup campaign in Egypt in June where the Stars were eliminated at the Round of 16 stage.

That defeat triggered a wave upon waves of criticisms on the team, players, management and even the sector Ministry as the Stars again failed in their attempt to win the Golden Fleece for the first time in 37 years.

Today, yet another journey beckons and the four-time African champions have sworn to, first of all, work their fingers to the bone for the qualification ticket before dreaming big again.

The Andre Dede Ayew-led Stars have been preparing since Monday at the Accra Sports Stadium, an exercise they shifted to Cape Coast on Tuesday as they get fully loaded for bear against the South Africans.

Overall, the two countries have met on 12 previous occasions, with Bafana leading the head-to-head 5-3, and a further four draws. The visitors’ stranglehold on Ghana rolled off in 1996 when they thrashed the Stars 3-0 in the semi-final stage on the way to winning their only African Cup of Nations trophy at home.

However, games between the two in Ghana have been rare and the previous two occasions have produced a mixed-bag for South Africa.

Bafana first served Stars the ‘prussic acid’ at a Nations Cup quarter-final in 2000 in Kumasi when Ghana were co-hosts and Bafana knocked them out with a 1-0 victory, much to the desolation of the home contingent.

But Ghana would inflict a much deeper wound over South Africa with a 3-0 trouncing in a World Cup qualifier in Kumasi 2004, before completing the torture away in 2005 to make it a 5-0 aggregate victory.

Indeed, the two teams know each other all-too well, having shared the spoils in a goalless game in Dubai ahead of the Egypt Nations Cup, this year.  

Captain Dede Ayew has said ahead of the game tonight that his charges would have to fight hard on the pitch and get the results in order to fully win back the love of the fans.  That fighting spirit, perhaps, will be what Ghanaians would look out for in this Group C battle.

Luckily for Ghana, Crystal Palace’s Jordan Ayew appears to be in apple-pie order and steered by a sturdy midfield wrapped around the stirring Samuel Owusu (Al Fahya, Saudi Arabia), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain) and Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo, Italy), the Stars should be able to find a way around the South Africa backline.

The visitors’ coach Molefi Ntseki has also been talking tough ahead of the game and will be banking on the dangerous duo of Dean Furman and Themba Zwane to cause a dodgy havoc in Cape Coast.

Goaded by a crowd that has shown immense love since their arrival in Cape Coast, the Stars simply cannot afford to let them down. A good home win, looks likely.


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