Stars face Sudan today …in Akonnor’s first competitive test

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Ghana’s Black Stars will come against the Nile Crocodiles of Sudan in a 2021 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium today at 4pm.

The Black Stars lead the group with six points with wins over Bafana Bafana of South Africa (2-0) and Sao Tome and Principe.

Sudan and South Africa follow with three points each and Sao Tomé and Principe without a point.

 Today’s game would be played behind closed doors, a move that will deny the Stars of an anticipated huge support.

Sadly for Coack Charles Akonnor, he will miss the in-form Thomas Partey who sustained a thigh injury while featuring for Arsenal on Sunday with his replacement, Majeed Ashimeru also pulling out over coronavirus fears.

The Stars team is further weakened by new withdrawals by Mubarak Wakaso, Baba Iddrisu, Harrison Afful, Benson Annang and German U-21 attacker Jamie Leweling.

 That gave Akonnor a very short time to prepare the team for the important clash but the response from replacements such as skipper Richard Ofori and Clifford Aboagye appear to have revived the boys in camp. .

 The above are expected to compliment efforts of Andre Ayew, Afriyie Acquah, Caleb Ekuban, Christopher Nettey, John Boye and others ready to make the nation proud today.

The Sudanese have always been a thorn in Ghana’s flesh but the statistics clearly makes Ghana overwhelming favourites, having chalked eight wins, two losses and drawing one.

The challenges notwithstanding, Akonnor and his assistant, David Duncan, believe players in camp are capable of overcoming the Sudanese and would be in contention for the three points.

Luckily for Ghana, the Sudanese have struggled for form in recent times and have won just one in many matches; a situation the Stars would hope to capitalize on to send them back empty handed.

Their Head Coach, Hubert Velud, admitted that playing the Stars was a major challenge but was confident his team could frustrate or cause a major surprise for the Ghanaians.

 The Black Stars will fly out for the reverse fixture scheduled for Wednesday in Khartoum.

BY RAYMOND ACKUMEY

Source: ghanaiantimes