The Uganda national football team (Uganda cranes) are set to play the Ghana national football team (Black Stars) on Friday, 07 October 2016 at 6; 30 pm at Tamale stadium, in Tamale city, Ghana. This is a Group E 2018 FIFA World cup qualifier match. Other teams in the same group are Egypt and Congo.
The game will be Ghana’s first game in the group stage of their quest for a fourth successive World Cup appearance. The task is more arduous given the fact that no African team has qualified for the tournament for a fourth straight time.
The Black Stars are winless in their last two matches after drawing with Rwanda and losing to Russia but more importantly, it will be interesting to see how the team will fare following much negativity around the team.
Uganda is still in a jubilant mood after qualifying for the first AFCON in 39 years only a month ago. The Ugandans have clearly set out the target of excelling in Gabon next year and only see the Ghana game as preparatory ground for the African tournament next year.
The Black Stars are winless against the Cranes in their last two matches after suffering a defeat in Kampala and being held in Kumasi. The first of the two meetings was in Kumasi right after the debacle of Brazil. Tony Mawejje gave Uganda the lead before Dede Ayew restored parity for Ghana from the penalty spot. That was the penultimate game for then coach, Kwesi Appiah. In the penultimate fixture of the 2015 AFCON qualifiers, the Uganda pipped Ghana, under caretaker coach Maxwell Konadu, 1-0 in Kampala.
Ghana’s team under Avram Grant will be a pretty straightforward one. Captain Asamoah Gyan returns to the squad after sitting out for almost a year. He last played for Ghana in November 2015. The striker is expected to be partnered with Aston Villa forward Jordan Ayew in a two prong attack. Dede Ayew’s absence means an extended run on the left wing for Frank Acheampong while the duo of Afriyie Acquah and Mubarak Wakaso are set to remain unchanged with Newcastle wide man Christian Atsu occupying the right flank.
For the case of the Cranes, Serbian has a full strength side ahead of his trip to Ghana and will be hoping for a repeat performance when they came to Ghana a few years ago. Kumasi scorer Tonny Mawejje remains a member of the squad but scored in Kampala, Savio Kaburo. Remains absent from the squad.
Ghana XI: Braimah/ Kwarasey; Afful, Rahman, Boye, Jona Mensah; Wakaso, Atsu, Acheampong, Acquah; J.Ayew, A.Gyan
Uganda Cranes XI vs Togo: Salim Jamal Magoola (GK), Nicholas Wadada, Godfrey Walusimbi, Murushid Juuko, Isaac Isinde, Denis Iguma, Hassan Wasswa Mawanda, Khalid Aucho, Kizito Luwagga, Faruku Miya, Geoffrey Massa (Captain).
Subs: Benjamin Ochan (GK), Kizito Geoffrey, Kiiza Hamis, Yunus Sentamu, Joseph Ochaya, Tonny Mawejje, Moses Oloya.