4 October 2017

Kenya/Uganda: Black Stars Ready for Uganda Showdown

Ghana's national football team Wednesday evening concluded a three-day training camp in Nairobi in readiness for this weekend's crunch 2018 World Cup qualifier against Uganda.

The Black Stars will Thursday afternoon depart for Kampala ahead of the potentially explosive clash against high-flying Uganda Cranes at the Namboole Stadium in Kampala on Saturday.

On Wednesday evening, the Black Stars who've won the African title on four occasions, trained at the Kasarani Stadium under the watchful eye of veteran coach Kwesi Appiah.

Appiah is without the famed Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan for the Kampala assignment. USA-based Harrison Afful and Johnathan Mensah are meanwhile out through injury.

Appiah told Nation Sport that the absence of star players in his squad will not affect the team's performance during the must-win tie in Kampala.

"The squad is in high spirits especially after huge win in Congo. We are hoping to extend that form in Kampala," said Appiah. "We are not under pressure but a win will be very positive for us. We will give it our all."

However, the Black Stars tactician is also cautious as Uganda beat them 1-0 in their last visit to Kampala during the 2015 Cup of Nations qualifiers.

The Cranes, who also stunned Egypt 1-0 in the 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Kampala, held the Ghanaians to a barren draw during the first leg played in West Africa.

Appiah can however still count on big name players such as captain Asamoah 'Baby Jet' Gyan, John Antwi and Daniel Amartey.

Debutants Kingsley Sarfo of Swedish side Malmo, USA-based Abass Mohammed and Kasim Nuhu of Swiss club Young Boys are also part of the squad.

The match against Uganda is without doubt a must-win game for the Black Stars. Ghana are currently placed third in Group E with five points, two points Cranes who are in second place.

Egypt, who face bottom of the pile Congo in the group's other game, are top of the table with nine points from four outings.

This makes this a tough outing for Ghana in their quest to play at the Fifa World Cup in Russia next year.

Meanwhile, Uganda drew 1-1 with Madagascar in a friendly match in Kampala on Wednesday, ahead of this tie.

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Martizburg United, South Africa), Lawrence Ati (Sochaux, France), Joseph Addo (Aduana Stars)

Defenders: Defenders : Harrison Afful (Columbus, USA), Daniel Opare (Augsburg, Germany) Agbenyenu Lumor (Portimonese, Portugal), Abass Mohammed (Harrisburg City, USA), Kasim Nuhu (Young Boys, Switzerland), Daniel Amartey (Leicester,England), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew,USA), Nicholas Opoku (Club Africain, Tunisia), Vincent Atinga (Hearts of Oak)

Midfielders: Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain), Joseph Attamah (Basaksehir, Turkey), Christian Atsu (Newcastle United, England), Kingsley Sarfo (Malmo, Sweden) Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo FC, Italy), Ebenezer Ofori (Stuttgart, Germany), Frank Acheampong (Tianjin TEDA, China), Isaac Twum (Inter Allies), Patrick Twumasi (Astana FC, Kazakhtan)

Forwards: Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich, Switzerland), John Antwi (Misr Lel-Makkasa, Egypt), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Crvena Zvezda, Serbia)

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