June 15, 2021

Ghana boss CK Akunnor names squad for Morocco and Ivory Coast friendlies

Ghana head coach Charles Kwablan Akunnor has released his final 30-man squad to face Morocco and Ivory Coast in International friendlies next month.

The Black stars headed up strongly with a draw and victory in their last two Afcon qualifiers games against South Africa and Sao Tome to qualify for 2022 African Cup of Nations finals in Cameroon.

The Stars now return to international duty with next month’s showpiece against Morocco and neighboring country Ivory Coast their soonest.

Ghana will play the Atlas Lions and two-time African champions Ivory Coast next month in place of the two FIFA World Cup qualifiers that got cancelled last week.

The Black Stars is scheduled to engage Morocco on Tuesday, June 8 in Rabat before taking on the Elephants on Saturday, June 12, 2021 at the Cape Coast stadium.

Exemplary of Akunnor’s list is consistency having majority of his last two outings squad in the Afcon qualifiers kept.

Which means, the likes of Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, Andre Ayew, Jordan, Kudus Mohammed, Mubarak Wakaso, Baba Rahman and Nicholas Opoku are in the billing for the North African and West African games.

Leicester City man Daniel Amartey, Orlando Pirates shot-stopper and Strasbourg center-back Alexander Djiku make return together with Reading FC’s Andy Yiadom, Portugal based Gideon Mensah, Schenzhen FC’s Frank Acheampong and inform forward Kamaldeen Sulemana who all have come back to Star’s camp.

Ofori and Djiku missed Ghana’s last two Afcon qualifiers as the Premier Soccer League based man returns from groin injury whiles Amartey has been out for the Black Stars since 2017.

Kwame Opoku who joined USM Alger following his sharp increase in form at Asante Kotoko has managed to keep his palace. The former Ghana Premier League forward was handed a debut call up in Cameroon 2022 qualifiers later stage against the Bafana Bafana and Sao Tome back in March.

His colleagues in the Ghanaian league Razak Abelora, Abdul Ganiyu, Gladson Awako, Legon Cities ace Joseph Adjei and Rashid Nortey have all maintained their places.

Meanwhile, Black Satellite trio Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, Philemon Baffuor and Danlad Ibrahim that helped Ghana to win the 2020 U-20 African Cup of Nations in Mauritania are included. Issahaku came home with the Golden Boot award after his dazzling displays for the Black Satellites led to their victory in March.

Full squad

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates), Razak Abalora (Asante Kotoko), Ibrahim Danlad (King Faisal)

Left back: Baba Abdul Rahman (PAOK), Gideon Mensah (Vitoria Guimaraes)

Right back: Andy Yaidom (Reading FC), Philemon Baffuor (Dreams FC)

Centre back: Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg FC), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), Ismail Ganiyu (Asante Kotoko), Joseph Adjei (Legon Cities), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens FC)

Midfield: Mubarak Wakaso (Shenzhen FC), Thomas Partey (Arsenal FC), Kudus Mohammed (Ajax Amsterdam), Rashid Nortey (Medeama SC), Abdul Fatawu Issahaku (Steadfast FC), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens SC), Gladson Awako (Great Olympics), Baba Idrissu (RCD Mallorca)

Left Wing: Samuel Owusu (Al-Fayha FC), Emmanuel Gyasi (Spezia), Frank Acheampong (Shenzhen FC), Tariqe Fosu Henry (Brentford FC)

Right Wing: Kamal Sowah (OH Leuven), Kamaldeen Sulemana (Nordsjaelland)

Forward: Andre Ayew (Swansea City FC), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace FC), Kwame Opoku (USM Alger), Joseph Paintsil (Ankaragücu).

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