Black Stars face their most crucial clash against Lesotho in 2014 World Cup qualifiers
With four months to end the second round qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Ghana’s penultimate clash against Lesotho on Sunday is the most crucial for the two-time World Cup finalist, the Black Stars.
Lying second in the Group D campaign and one point behind the top, Ghana arrived in Maseru for Sunday’s fixture aware that there is no margin for error with just two games left to conclude the qualifiers for this particular stage.
Kwesi Appiah in his build up notes demanded a perfect result from his Black Stars, who thumped the Basotho 7-0 in June of last year.
Memories of that game will still linger but will have little or no effect on what transpires at the Setsoto National Stadium in their second meeting this year.
“Lesotho have got a every good team. Even though we beat them 7-0 in Ghana, I believe that they have a very good team and they have proved that in their games against Zambia and Sudan” said Appiah, who would be without the suspended Richard Kissi Boateng, after the defender was dismissed in their previous game, a 3-1 away win over Sudan.
“It’s a team that you cant underrate or think that you can walk over them. We need to try and get a win and we will fight to get it.”
Both sides enter the game with contrasting tales as the campaign nears its end.
Whiles Ghana remain a third round aspirant, Lesotho, winless after four games and out of contention for a final stage place are determined to bow out with grace.
Mokhosi Mahate, General Secretary of the Lesotho FA says they are aiming to end their losing run.
“We suffered back-to-back losses in the qualifiers (to Sudan and Zambia) and that must stop somewhere and perhaps, the Ghana match will end that trend,” Mahate said.
For the Black Stars to reach the next round, they need to win against Lesotho this weekend to boost their chances before meeting up with Zambia at home in a decisive finale during September.
The ten African group winners will be paired off for the final stage during October and November with the winners of the five home-and-away ties qualifying for Brazil 2014.
Competition: 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier
Match: Lesotho v Ghana
Venue: Setsoto National Stadium, Maseru
Kick off: 15:00 local time (1:00pm Ghana time)
Date: June 16, 2013