South Africa-based goalkeeper Fatau Dauda's fading World Cup dream has received a lifeline with the Ghana FA's technical director Francis Oti Akenteng insisting the Orlando Pirates goalkeeper will be key for the Black Stars at the tournament in Brazil in June.
Akenteng gave Dauda - the second-choice goalkeeper at Orlando Pirates - a reprieve this week when he told Sunday World that Black Stars coach Kwesi Appiah had not shut the door yet.
"The coach [Appiah] has been in touch with Fatau and his club coaches, and we are aware he has been featuring in some of their friendly games," said Akenteng.
"Fatau is one of our tried-and-tested players in the Black Stars, that we have been building for the Brazil World Cup finals.
"The coach has made it clear that Fatau is his preferred goalkeeper for Brazil," said the veteran coach, who was in Joburg for last week's Fifa- Confederation of African Football workshop.
Ghana will have their work cut out for them in Brazil. They are in a tough group, with Germany, Portugal and the US. Germany is one of the favourites to win the tournament.
Dauda has played second fiddle to Senzo Meyiwa for most of the Absa Premiership season, and must have feared the worst when Appiah said in February that he must pull up his socks or his World Cup dream could be over.
Dauda (28) has played in only three Premier Soccer League matches since joining Pirates in August from Ashanti Gold SC.
He was Ghana's No1 in goal during the World Cup qualifiers, but his chances diminished after Appiah said he would pick only form players for his 23-man squad.
Dauda's hopes were dashed when he was dropped for Ghana's World Cup warm-up against Montenegro last month.
Appiah argued at the time that he wanted to look at Stephen Adams, who plays in Ghana's Glo Premier League at club Aduana Stars.
Adams was part of the Ghanaian team that won silver during the African Nations Championship finals in Mzansi in February.
Pirates coach Vladislav "VV" Vermezovic said he was impressed with Dauda and could include him in future starting lineups.
"He has been working hard at training and is in good shape," Vermezovic said.