News Update

Preview: Ghana v Rwanda

After a stormy preparations the Black Stars of Ghana comes face to face with Rwanda on Saturday at the Accra Sports Stadium.

The Black Stars have already secured qualification to next year’s African Cup of Nations to be held in Gabon.

Ghana sits on top of the Group with 13 points, seven more points than their opponents.

Coach Avram Grant has expressed dissatisfaction about the issues surrounding the game. It would be recalled that the Minister of Youth and Sports ordered the Ghana Football Association to use only locally-based players for the game because it will not be able to cater for the team’s expenses.

According to the Minister, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, his outfit is cash strapped and that it does not have the capacity to pay for the air fares of the players as well as their usual $10,000 winning bonus, especially when the game in question is of no relevance or value.

But the football governing body defied his orders and invited the foreign-based players. The players were therefore forced to buy their own tickets in order to honour the game.

As a result, the preparations of Ghana ahead of this Ghana seems to be the worst ever for the past decade.

However, this could not be used as an excuse if the team fails to deliver against Rwanda side dominated by locally-based players.

The Black Stars secured a 1-0 win over the Amavubi’s in the first leg tie in Rwanda, thanks Wakaso’s long drive.

Injuries have forced some players who got call-ups out of the game, and Coach Avram Grant had no option than to invite some local players to replace them. Home groomed players like Asante Kotkoko youngster Dauda Mohammed, Wa All Stars’ Emmanuel Ocran and Bechem United’s Abednego Tetteh have all received late call-ups into the camp of the four-time African champions.

They replaced Sion striker Ebenezer Assifuah who is injured and Jordan Ayew who was trying to make a move away from Aston Villa on transfer deadline day on Wednesday, and Andrew Ayew who got injured in his first game for his new employers West Ham United. Captain Asamoah Gyan is also not likely to feature in Saturday’s encounter due to his late arrival. Gyan was also sorting out his move to United Arab Emirate outfit Al Ahli after a botched move to English Championship side Reading FC.

Emmanuel Agyemang Badu is expected to wear the captain’s armband on the afternoon and goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey is in pole position to keep the posts for the Black Stars ahead of Razak Braimah. David Accam is also likely to lead the attack of Ghana.

This will be the fourth match between the two national teams. In 2003, Rwanda blocked Ghana from appearing at the 2004 AFCON following a 1-0 win over the Black Stars at the Amahoro Sports Stadium in Kigali. Jimmy Gatete grabbed the only goal for his side.

Rwanda comes into the game with an interim trainer, Jimmy Mulisa who was part of the 2003 squad that ousted Ghana in the qualifiers. They enter the game with virtually home-based players.

Rayon Sports’ keeper Eric Ndayishimiye is likely to start in goal and foreign-based players like Salomon Nirisarike and Emery Bayisenge are all expected to be in their starting lineup.

Skipper of the side Haruna Niyonzima is expected to begin the game, whilst AS Kigali striker Ernest Saguire is expected to lead the attack for the Amavubi Stars who are placed third on the Group standing.

The game kicks off at 16hrs GMT (4pm local time) at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Ghana/Herosportsgh.com/Daniel Osei

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