After booking a spot in next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, the Black Stars of Ghana will be hoping to end the qualifying phase with a win with a home tie against São Tomé and Príncipe on Sunday, March 28, 2021.
C. K Akonnor’s men secured qualification to the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations to be hosted in Cameroon via a 1-1 draw with South Africa in Johannesburg on Thursday.
São Tomé and Príncipe themselves come into this final Group C encounter with no win or draw in five games and maybe looking to cause an upset at the Accra Sports Stadium.
CK Akonnor’s squad will be boosted by the arrival of his two captains, Andre Ayew, Thomas Partey as well as Crystal Palace striker, Jordan Ayew who all sat out the South Africa game due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
There will be no further absentees as the team suffered no injury or suspensions and will have the full complement of players called.
It is most likely that Akonnor will name a stronger side to face São Tomé and Príncipe at the Accra Sports Stadium, with the aim of ending the qualifiers on top of Group C ahead of Sudan and South Africa.
The visitors, São Tomé and Príncipe on the other will be expected to do the same as the head coach Adriano Eusebio named eleven foreign-based players in his squad for their clashes with Sudan and Ghana including Belenenses SAD starlet Ricardo Cardoso.
In what looked to have been a straight qualification for the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, the path to securing a spot had glitches, almost threatening, but the team sailed after a 1-1 draw at the FNB Stadium against South Africa.
The four-time AFCON winners will be looking to start preparations early for next year’s continental showpiece, with São Tomé and Príncipe a likely candidate to test the team’s wits in their quest to conquer Africa.
The Falcons and True Parrots team have not won a football game since 2019 and are currently on a streak of losing five straight games in Group C. They come into the game on the back of a 2-0 defeat at home against Sudan.
The Black Stars narrowly edged them when both sides last met, with Jordan Ayew, the goal scorer for Ghana in São Tomé and Príncipe.
What they said
Black Stars head coach C.K Akonnor:
“Going into the game, we knew what was expected of us. We knew the strength of the South Africans, how they would play and attack, so we were well prepared to play without the ball. Team organisation was key for us,” Akonnor said at the post-match press conference.
- The Black Stars have lost only one of their five games in the AFCON qualifiers, with wins over South Africa, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Sudan.
- Their solitary loss so far came away from home in Sudan.
- Ghana has scored six goals so far and conceded two in the process.
São Tomé and Príncipe
- São Tomé and Príncipe have lost all five of their AFCON qualifying games.
- The Falcons and True Parrots have conceded 13 goals and scored two.
Head to head
The team has played just one football game and this encounter will be the second time both sides have graced the same pitch in a football game at the senior level.
The Black Stars have the upper hand as they were triumphant in their last encounter, courtesy Jordan Ayew.
Kick-Off: 4pm GMT (Ghana)
Venue: Accra Sports Stadium.