Stars poised for victory

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

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In the  electrifying atmosphere of unimaginable proportions, which saw the huge crowd singing and dancing throughout to whip up the spirits of the players, Emmanuel Frimpong, Mahatma Otoo, Sulley Muntari, Fatau Dauda, Baba Abdul Rahman and Albert Adomah  all pledged to go for the kill to carry the aspirations of the fans.

On-loan Fulham midfielder Frimpong, for instance, said after the training: “I have never seen such support in a training session in my playing career.

“This is fantastic and I believe we have a duty to return the compliments with a good win. We cannot hit the wall.”

Head-to head statistics in World Cup qualifiers puts the Black Stars ahead of the Nile Crocodiles, but the historical antecedents could be deceptive .

In 2009, Ghana beat Sudan 2-0 in both the home and away qualifying games in Group D, but the question remains whether the status quo would hold again.

On the balance of probability Ghana are tipped to carry the day looking at the contrast of player quality and especially as they play on home soil. But football with all the dynamics can be deceptive.

While Sudan comes to Kumasi with a wholly home-based team, Ghana squad is populated mainly by foreign players.

Nice Crocodiles head coach Mohamed ‘Mazda’ Abdallah called a locally-based squad with most of the players coming from  giants Al Hilal and Al Merrikh.

The goalkeepers include Al Moez Mahjoub (Al Hilal), Akram El Hadi (Al Merrikh) and Abdalrahmane Aldeyae (Ahly Shandi), while the defence is made up of Saif Eldin Ali, Mowaia Ali (Al Hilal), Musaab Omer, Balla Jabir, Najm Eldin Abdallah, Ahmad Abdallah (Al Merrikh)

 Haitham Mustafa, Ala’a Eldin Yousif, Faisal Musa, Amir Kamal (Al Merrikh), Nizar Hamid, Omer Bakheit, Muhanad Al Tahir (Al Hilal), Hamza Adam (Al Hilal Kadougli), Hamoda Basher (Ahli Shandi) make up the miedfiels while the forwards include Ragi Abdalati, Ramadan Agab (Al Merrikh), Mudathir Al Taieb, Mohamed Ahmed Bashir (Al Hilal), Mohamed Abdelmoneim (Al Khartoum).

Against a Ghana team with the likes of Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset, Norway), Fatau Dauda (AshantiGold), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia),  Baba Abdul Rahman (Greuther Furth, Germany), John Boye (Rennes, France), Emmanuel Frimpong (Fulham, England), Rabiu Mohammed (Evian, France), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan, Italy), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE) and  Abdul-Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow), the Ghanaians appear the favourites.

Coach Kwasi Appiah who came under heavy criticisms after the AFCON debacle has to craft a workable winning formula.

Undoubtedly, he is aware of the high expectation of the Ghanaian football public and any slip would be disastrous.

Having set high standards in their two appearances at the World Cup finals Ghanaians are expecting the team to make it a third appearance and nothing but victory over Sudan can revive the dream.  

Preview by Kwame Asare Boadu