EWithin a few months in Ghana in 2022, things changed dramatically. From a poor performance at AFCON to qualifying for the World Championship, everything is moving in the right direction. Today, the Black Stars are completely unknown to their opponents. The qualitative increase they have achieved may allow them to perform well in their group and, why not, go further in this World Cup, which is taking place in Qatar. South Korea, Uruguay and Portugal are on alert*.

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A team that has come a long way

As in Morocco and Senegal, many players from the diaspora are joining the national pool and the arrival of Otto Addo along with Supervisor Chris Hughton the day after AFCON ushered in a new era for the Black Stars. With the arrival of the likes of Inaki Williams (forward, Athletic Bilbao), Antoine Semegno (forward, Bristol City), Tariq Lamptey (right-back, Brighton) and the resolution of Mohammed Salisou (defender, Southampton ”), these players joined the March wave of reinforcements that secured a ticket to the World Cup.

The youngest team in the tournament, but also a young team in terms of experience, this Ghana Otto Addo may not have played enough matches to work on their cohesion and start the World Cup with the utmost confidence. However, we are still seeing real lessons at the end of these last few walks. Defeated by Brazil (3-0) in September, a noticeable difference was noted with the introduction of new reinforcements. “We lost 3-0 so everyone probably thinks they are a weak team. This could be an advantage for us. Maybe I need to do some things differently, and if everyone thinks so, we will do better. I do not care. I made mistakes, I will learn from them and hopefully I can improve,” said the coach from Ghana. The Black Stars then bounced back by defeating Nicaragua 1–0 in a game they dominated, but saw many losses in the ending. According to the coach, 70% of the team’s places have already been determined after these two September games, that is…

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Significantly revised list in relation to CAN

Finally, the team has at least twelve new players who did not participate in CAN, almost half of the castling. As for the representativeness of the national football championship, two players play here: goalkeeper Ibrahim Danlad (Asante Kotoko) and forward Daniel Afriyi Barney (Hearts of Oak), winners of the UFOA-B tournament in 2020, and then CAN U20 in 2021.

Dunlad, 19, came into his own last season and contributed to the Kumasi title. 21-year-old Afriyi Barney was a key player in winning the 2021 title. Holder had a good time during the preparation match against Switzerland and rose to the level of his teammates, but developed at a higher level. He may be of interest to teams from Europe’s top leagues when his contract ends in December.

In terms of absences, the Black Stars were unaffected at the goalie position. Joe Wallacott (Swindon Town) and Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates, South Africa) will not be there. Mallorca midfielder Baba Iddrisu, who is scheduled to start alongside Thomas Partey, is also out. However, Ghana appears to have the resources to find solutions to compensate for this lack. The last preparatory match, won (2:0) against the Swiss team, by almost 100% of its capabilities, is a good performance. The performances of Salis, who already declares himself as the boss of the defense, Abdul Samed and Owus owe Otto Addo very interesting options.

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A group united by a common cause

The preparation for the World Cup showed that a good atmosphere reigns in a talented team, equally balanced between experienced players from the past and talents that have integrated in recent years. At the technical staff level, the selection was also strengthened by Dr. Narteh Ogum, former coach of Asante Kotoko, and Samuel Boadu, former coach of Hearts of Oak, winner of the last two championships in Ghana. The combination of these managers from the two main rival clubs demonstrates the desire to combine all forces for victory.

All this confirms the progress made since CAN 2021. Faced with Portugal, then South Korea, Ghana will find Uruguay for a 2010 remake of a painful episode. Is it worth remembering the handball of Luis Suarez at the last moment and the unrealized penalty kick of the legend Gyan Asamoah. For the latter, there is no doubt that this match will have a special flavor for the Black Stars: “Everyone in Ghana is waiting for the match against Uruguay because of what happened in 2010. We think this is our chance for revenge. »

A place in the 1/8 finals could have been at stake, which would have made the poster more exciting. In three performances, the Black Stars reached 1/8 in 2006, 1/4 in 2010, being eliminated in 1st place.uh tour in a group from Germany, Portugal (lost 2:1) and the USA. Two constants: they never had an easy group, but they were always on top. Despite the lack of experience compared to previous times, Ghana was again able to respond.

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* Ghana group matches: November 24 against Portugal at 17:00 French time; November 28 against South Korea at 14:00 French time; December 2 against Uruguay at 16:00 French time.