Ghana’s Black Stars take on the Palancas Negras of Angola in the 2023 AFCON qualifiers at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Thursday evening in Kumasi.
This will be the second time Ghana will face Angola at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. During the qualifiers for the 1998 AFCON tournament, Ghana played Angola at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. It was Kim Grant’s debut game for Ghana as well as Charles Whittle also played his maiden game for the West Africans. Ghana beat Angola 2-1.
Ex-Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton takes charge of his first game as the head coach of the Black Stars after he was unveiled on Monday morning in the Ashanti regional capital.
Venue: Baba Yara Sports Stadium
Kick-off time: 16:00
Recommended Radio commentary: Peace FM 104.3MHz, Asempa FM 94.7MHz, Adom FM 106.3MHz
Where to Watch: GTV, GTV Sports+.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The last time Ghana lost a game in AFCON qualifiers in Kumasi was 50 years (1973) ago when Lauren Poku led Ivory Coast to beat the Black Stars 3-0.
Brief profile of Chris Hughton
Age: 64, date of birth: 11 December 1958
Played for the Republic of Ireland at Euro 88 and Italy 1990 FIFA World Cup
His son, Cian James Hughton, played for Tottenham Hotspur and Birmingham City.
He has managed Tottenham Hotspur, the Republic of Ireland as assistant manager, Newcastle United, Birmingham City, Norwich City, Brighton and Hove Albion, and Nottingham Forest.
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT GHANA VS ANGOLA
- Angola are ranked 119th with 1155.9 points in the FIFA World Coca-Cola ranking (29th) for February 2023 while Ghana are ranked 61st in the global ranking and 11th in Africa.
- Angola’s Portuguese head coach, Pedro Soares Gonçalves, 47, first came into the fray in 2018 when he was appointed head coach of Angola U17. He was subsequently named the full-time head coach for the main job a year later.
- Ghana’s top scorers in the qualifiers are Mohammed Kudus – 2 goals, Felix Afena-Gyan – 1, and Osman Bukari – 1. Meanwhile, Angola’s top scorers are Gelson Dala – 2, M’Bala Nzola – 1. Gelson Dala plays for Al Wakrah in Qatar while M’bala Nzola plies his trade with Serie A side Spezia where he has scored 12 goals in 23 in the Italian top-flight league.
FORM GUIDE – GHANA
W3 D0 L3
Ghana 0-2 Uruguay
South Korea 2-3 Ghana
Portugal 3-2 Ghana
Ghana 2-0 Switzerland
Nicaragua 0-1 Ghana
Brazil 3-0 Ghana
Goals scored – 8
Goals conceded – 10
FORM GUIDE – ANGOLA
W2 D4 L1
The last time Angola lost a game was 11th October 2021
South Africa 1-1 Angola
Angola 1-0 Botswana
Madagascar 1-1 Angola
Angola 2-1 Central Africa Republic
Libya 1-1 Angola
Angola 2-2 Egypt
Gabon 2-0 Angola – 11th October 2021
Goals scored – 8
Goals conceded – 8
- Ghana and Angola qualified for their maiden World Cup at the same time (2006).
All-time Head 2 Head between the two sides
Ghana wins – 3
Angola wins – 2
Draw – 1
Neither of the sides has won by a 2-goal margin in their all-time meetings.
The maiden game between the two sides took place in 1992 which was an Independence Cup friendly
Angola 1-2 Ghana
- This will be the second time Ghana will face Angola at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. During the qualifiers for the 1998 AFCON tournament, Ghana played Angola at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. It was Kim Grant’s debut game for Ghana as well as Charles Whittle also played his maiden game for the West Africans.
- Dos Santos scored first for Angola but Felix Aboagye and Kim Grant scored later to hand the Black Stars a 2-1 victory.
- Richard Kingson, Sam Johnson, Shamo Quaye, Yaw Preko, Afo Duodu, Frank Amankwah, Patrick Allotey, etc all played for Ghana.
- The last competitive meeting between the two sides came during the 2010 AFCON in Angola. Asamoah Gyan scored a 16th-minute grounder to seal the win for Ghana on 24th January 2010. Kwadwo Asamoah delivered a defense-splitting pass to Gyan at the 11th November Stadium in Luanda.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Since the qualifiers began Mohammed Kudus has scored 4 goals in 5 games for Ghana. The 22-year-old has also scored 21 goals in all games for Ajax Amsterdam this season including pre-season games (39).
Gelson Dala, Angola, 26-year-old former of Sporting CP, Rio Ave – he played domestic football for Primeiro de Agosto. He has scored 12 goals in 15 games for Al Wakra in the Qatar Stars League. He scored in two straight games for Angola against CAR and Madagascar.
Meanwhile, M’Bala Nzola has scored 12 goals in 23 games for Spezia in the Serie A this season.
BLACK STARS’ PROBABLE XI
Lawrence Ati-Zigi – Kingsley Schindler, Gideon Mensah, Joseph Aidoo, Alexander Djiku – Majeed Ashimeru, Thomas Partey, Joseph Paintsil, Mohammed Kudus – Jordan Ayew, Inaki Williams.
Ghana 2-1 Angola
Players to score – Mohammed Kudus (Ghana) and M’Bala Nzola (Angola).