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2014 World Cup Preview: Ghana Black Stars VS. Egyptian Pharaohs

Published on: 13 October 2013
Black Stars

By Ralph Geeplay

When Bob Bradley and his brave Pharaohs jet into the Kumasi Stadium on October 15, he will be facing a Kwesi James Appiah squad that has seen success under an African coach and that now has Michael Essien back in the fold and the ever dependable hit man Asamoah Gyan.

To complicate things for the Pharaohs, they have not played at any of the World Cup tournaments since 1990, last held in Italy, while their Ghana counterparts have been there the last two times 2006 and 2010. What stands between Bradley and his men comes down to the Black Stars, a repeat in Rustenburg, Southern Africa when Ghana thwarted Bradley hopes from qualifying to the semi-finals, then as the American coach.

Pundits say while Egypt’s squad is basically made of domestic talents with Al Ahly and Zamalek players forming the primacy of the team, this however has not dented the enthusiasm that Bradley and the Pharaohs have shown during their qualifying campaign. “We did a lot of work. We studied Ghana well; we respect them, but at the same time we are a good team,” said Bradley to the Bleacher Report.

“We must be smart in Kumasi. We need to play with the right mentality; intellectually but with confidence.” The Pharaohs and their American coach despite lacking a domestic league due the turmoil in Egypt that saw political revolutions the past years and violent domestic league fracas that saw 79 dead, did manage to qualify 100 percent on top of group G, by winning all of their matches.

Determinedly, they have not let the said events of Port Said (Stadium) and the politically unstable situation dissuade the team’s zeal. Bradley’s players have concentrated well and performed their duties on the football pitch determined to go to Brazil despite all their troubles.

Head-to-head records show that both countries are football giants with Egypt winning most of the duels. The North Africans have won nine encounters while Ghana has taken home four while five of the meetings ended up in a draw.

Depending on who you want to call the favorites, this match could be a hard toss up, since both teams are respectable African sides with Egypt enjoying more continental success than any African side in history, winning the African cup a record seven times, but today though, Ghana is that African side that is on the rise. The Ghanaians are proving that local coaches can succeed in an Africa that fancy foreign coaches, with Kwesi James Appiah at the helm and dugout— Ghana won five of six matches and did score more goals than any other African team during their qualifying run to the playoffs. Eleven different players are credited for the total of 18 goals scored by the Ghanaian national team in the qualifiers, an impressive feat that says scoring options are not limited when Appiah’s lads are pushing the ball.

African football analysts say between 2009 and 2013, the Black Stars of Ghana played Egypt thrice with each side winning a piece of the pie while a third game ended blank. This confirms, say football watchers, that the Tuesday game will be an entertaining thriller. Billed for November 19, the return leg will likely take place in a neutral venue as requested by Ghanaian Football Association (GFA) following recent violence in Egypt, but it is unlikely the Football governing body, FIFA will change the original Cairo venue. It has been a long time since Egyptians saw their beloved Pharaohs in action, plus they need the home crowd behind them as an added advantage.

Bob Bradley: “We know Ghana are a strong team and we are focused on the first leg in Kumasi. Our staff has worked very hard on preparations for Ghana and we know their team very well.

”Kwesi James Appiah: “The group has the ability in terms of goal-scoring… we must keep our balance and improve. We meet a good side but must cause them problems to get what we plan for.”

The Squad Egypt

Goalkeepers: Sherif Elkramy (Al Ahly) Ahmed El Shenawy (Al Masry) Mohamed

Sobhy (Ismaily).

Defenders: Ahmed Fathy (Al Ahly) , Ahmed El Mohamady (Hull City) , Hazem Emam (Zamalek) , Wael Gomaa (Al Ahly) , Mohamed Nagub (Al Ahly) , Rami Rabiea (Al Ahly) , Sayed Moawad (Al Ahly) , Mohamed Abdul Shafy “Zamalek”.

Midfielders: Ahmed Sheded (Al Ahly) , Amr El Sulayia (Ismaily) , Hossam Ashour (Al Ahly) , Hossam Ghaly (Lierse SK) , Mohamed el Neny (FC Basel) , Hosny Rabo (Ismaily) , Abdul Razak Shikabala (Zamalek), Mohamed AbuTrika “Al Ahly”, Waleed Suliman “Al Ahly” ,Abdulallah al Saied “Al Ahly”.

Strikers: Ahmed Eid (Zamalek), Amr zaki (Al Salmyia) , Mohamed Salah (FC Basel) Mahmoud Kahraba (Luzern) , Mohamed Gedo (Hull City).

The squad Ghana

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Richard Kingson (Doxa Katokopias, Cyprus)

Defenders : Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), David Addy (Vitoria Guimaraes, Portugal), Baba Abdul Rahman (Greuther Furth Germany), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa),

Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg United, South Africa).

Midfielders : Michael Essien (Chelsea), Emmanuel Frimpong (Arsenal), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese), Kevin Prince Boateng (Schalke), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan), Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem), Andre Ayew (Marseille)

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow), Jordan Ayew (Marseille), Mahatma Otoo (Sogndal,)

Key player Egypt: Mohamed Gedo

Key player Ghana: Asamoah Gyan

Prediction: Egypt is that good and focused and Bob Bradley is a tested international asset. As the only American trainer coaching any notable national team anywhere in the world and especially in a place called Africa that has a bias for European tacticians, the Egyptian FA must be credited their trust in him was not wasted. If Bradley pulls this off, expect him to be snatched up by a first rate European coach after the world cup. Bradley has proven that American coaches have quality, his team is young and vibrant with a mix of older veterans he called up. This could put the Black Stars to bed if they misstep, but give Ghana their due two cents, they have a domestic coach, and the veteran midfield maestro Michael Essien is back. Plus, the young guns on the Black Stars team all feature for top European clubs. Ghana qualifies.

Aggregate 4:2

Ralph Geeplay is editor of the Liberian listener


This article has 23 comment(s), give your comment
  • Donnasa says:
    October 14, 2013 01:19 pm
    Your calling champions of the continent super chicken, this is one problem i have with this Ghanaians. A country that is very poor and always envy a country God has bless. Listen you Ghanaian football is played on the pitch not without mouth, Nigeria has won their match away from home so go their on Tuesday and win and stop talking about Nigeria they are 100% better than you in everything. Go and play your match and stop talking about a team that has one leg already in Brazil. But whether you like it or not the better team will win and am sorry to tell Ghanaian that black stars are not going to the world cup even though i want them to quality because they will be a better representation than the Egyptians but but i saw in my dream that Egypt qualified ahead of Ghana just the way i said it against Ethiopia and a lot of Ghanaian were talking rubbish but what happen yesterday, didn't the dream come through? Long live Africa.
  • dredmartins says:
    November 12, 2013 09:21 pm
    we need no white in ghana God as mind so we can do it
  • true zambian says:
    October 13, 2013 01:11 pm
    oh yeah! deny them the training ground as well and see what happens in the return leg. Egypt will burst ghana's black asses. am putting all my money on egypt all the way. world cup dream has ended too soon for the black asses.
  • true zambian says:
    October 13, 2013 01:15 pm
    what will a bench warmer in the name of essien bring to a team and the retired gyan? absolutely nothing. you must be deluded to even think essien will be a game changer. egypt are undoubtedly the best team in africa, winning three editions of the afcon in a row. winning and defending three consecutive cups. wow!!! while the black asses are still living in a shadow of abedi pele.
  • Mr. G says:
    October 13, 2013 12:52 pm
    Hahahahahahaha, wow keep on dreaming,,, ghana must fail no matter what,,,, egypt 3 gayna zero,
  • kuukuphilly says:
    October 13, 2013 12:50 pm
    oyiwa!....good luck next time around
  • Josh says:
    October 13, 2013 01:42 pm
    Folks let us pray for 9geria for they are in one hell of a march the Ethiopians are not cheep at all. They are playing goog football
  • askantwi says:
    October 13, 2013 02:00 pm
    oh yes, In Kumasi; ghana 4 egypt 0. In Cairo; egypt 2 ghana 0. Aggregate; Ghana 4 2 Egypt. Ghana qualifies.
  • Zargon says:
    October 13, 2013 02:33 pm
    Hahaaha this is what happens when Nigerians become too known-. "Oh we are going to trash Ethiopia " "they are minnows" u see???? Chickens. Watch Ghana on Tuesday and we will show u how's done
  • Reef says:
    October 13, 2013 03:11 pm
    I hope you will be a MAN enough to come back to this forum to express your hatred towards Ghana after weve THRASHED egypt both home and away. Ugly bastard
  • Reef says:
    October 13, 2013 03:13 pm
    I dont even think egypt can beat us in Cairo.Aggregate more or less like GHANA 6-0 EGYPT
  • Reef says:
    October 13, 2013 03:16 pm
    Where is ChiPOLIOPOLIO now?? Oh i forgot Ghana dispatched those carpenters and laborers who call themselves football players..hshhahahahahha..I cant believe Zambians actually thought they were going to Brazil at the expense of Ghana.. hmmmmm nice try tho. But now they are supporting egypt instead...egypt that doesnt even consider itself to be part of Africa...smh Foolish zambians
  • benny says:
    October 13, 2013 03:23 pm
    John Boye in the squad?l thought he was injured.
  • zambia is our toilet hole says:
    October 13, 2013 03:36 pm
  • anokwale says:
    October 13, 2013 03:59 pm
    There will not be a blow out either way. Prepare for two close games. One win and one draw. Another real possibility is two draws. Away goals may become an issue in this. We shall see what happens.
  • don king says:
    October 13, 2013 04:18 pm
    ghanas squard, olele inkoom david addy akaminko sumailia essien dede ayew kojo asamoah waris gyan sulley pls this from a reliable source, fantastik squard by all standard
  • benyiwa says:
    October 15, 2013 10:32 am
    it hurt to hear people talkin abt ghana. all other african countries shd salute n support ghana cos anytime they go to the worldcup,they go beyound the group stage nt like a country i know with white n G!!!!!!
  • abdul rauf mohammed says:
    October 13, 2013 05:08 pm
    Inshaa Allah Ghana will beat Egypt by 3 goals to nill wheather rain or shine but people should stop insulting Prince Boating and let us wait for Tuesday.
  • abdul rauf mohammed says:
    October 13, 2013 05:10 pm
    you are rigth
  • The Zanmbian says:
    October 13, 2013 05:30 pm
    Ah, the losses to Zambia still seem to hurt you! Move on......
  • Yamoah felix stone says:
    October 13, 2013 05:38 pm
    By the grace of GOD we will win Egypt on coming 15th oct. (Tue) and those who speak evil about black stars will be put to shame. May the almighty GOD give all the COACHES AND THE PLAYERS the ability to play the game with wisdom and understanding.
  • Egyptian says:
    October 13, 2013 08:01 pm
    Hey all my brothers and sisters ... First .. Who says that Egypt does not consider herself a part of africa!!... Like any egyptian .. I am a proud to be african .... And about the match ... I think it will be very exciting match regardless who will win ... All of us have the same dream to see our national team in brazil ..... And 180 minutes will decide who will fly to brazil..... Just I think that we waste our time if we speak about expectations :) ..... Like these historical matches dont have any rules and even probably dont confess who is beter !!!. I hope to just share our experience and love and i promise to support Ghana if they went to brasil ... And expect the same if Egypt won it :) ....... Good luck for all .... Please accept my salutes from great Cairo ..... Egypt :)
  • C Boy says:
    October 13, 2013 09:14 pm
    The black stars of Ghana are surely going to Brazil to reclaim wat soul have ben a dream come true in south africa courtesy Luis suarez satanic intervention......... I dont see Egypt stopping Ghana .....ask the Americans