After the Black Stars’ 3-0 humiliating defeat in a friendly against defending champions of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Algeria, GNA Sports, takes a look at Ghana’s group, Group C, to assess Ghana’s chances in the upcoming AFCON in Cameroon.
Ghana is paired in Group C together with Morocco, Gabon and Comoros. The Black Stars would have their opening game in the tournament on Monday, January 10 against Morocco at 4pm.
The Black Stars of Ghana, popularly known to be called, would make their 23rd AFCON appearance in this year’s competition. Having won the trophy four times, (1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982) and runners-up five times, (1968, 1970, 1992, 2010 and 2015), Ghana would come into this tournament in search of their fifth AFCON trophy after Egypt stopped them from taking their fifth AFCON trophy in 2010.
Milovan Rajevac, the Head Coach of the senior national team, who put up quite an impressive performance in the2010 AFCON tournament is now back to the team and hoping to get the team the trophy this time round.
Ghana is currently ranked 52nd in the FIFA rankings and would be looking forward to repeating their 2008 record after being ranked 14th by FIFA. The Black Stars since winning their last AFCON trophy, have come close to winning the trophy on three successive times but couldn’t make any effort to grab the trophy.
All-time top scorer of the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan would miss the Cameroon tournament after retiring from the team, but having the likes of Andre Ayew, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Jonathan Mensah and the likes would actually be a threat to their opponents.
One-time winner of the African Cup of Nations tournament would make its 18th appearance in this year’s competition. The team in 1976, won their first AFCON trophy and has since been fighting to win the trophy.
‘Atlas Lions’, popularly known to be called, joined the Confederation of African Football in 1966 to be able to participate in the AFCON tournament.
The team in the 1998 FIFA ranking came tenth and was the first African side to be ranked by FIFA in the top ten national football teams in the world and also being the only African team in history to have been part of FIFA’s top rankings for three consecutive years (1997 to 1999).
The Arab side is now ranked 28th in the FIFA rankings. Coach Vahid Halilhodzic after dropping Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech from his AFCON squad, would be counting on Achraf Hakimi, Romain Saiss, Munir El Haddadi and the likes in this year’s tournament.
Comoros would make a historic appearance in the African Cup of Nations tournament this year. ‘The Coelacanths’ would make their debut in the competition.
Ranked 132nd by FIFA, the team would be willing to put up an impressive start in their first ever AFCON tournament.
Coach Amir Abdou would come into this tournament with the likes of Youssouf M’Changama, Nakibou Aboubakari, Faiz Selemani, Said Bakari and some other top players.
Any performance by the national team would be history for the nation as a whole.
Two-time quarter-finalists, ‘The Panthers’ of Gabon, would make their eighth appearance in the African Cup of Nations tournament. The best finish of the team was in 1996 and 2012 sailing through to the quarter finals stage of the competition.
Coach Patrice Neveu’s side are currently ranked 89th in the FIFA ranking and would be looking forward to putting up their best performance in the tournament.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ulrick Eneme Ella, Bruno Ecuele Manga are among the few who could be threats to their opponents.
January 10: Ghana vs Morocco, Comoros vs Gabon
January 14: Morocco vs Comoros, Gabon vs Ghana
January 18: Gabon vs Morocco, Ghana vs Comoros