Black Stars Head Coach, Otto Addo has announced a 27-man squad for the crunch FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 play-offs against the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
The list featured about five debutants and also marked a return to the team a few names that went missing through injuries.
That category includes Ajax star, Kudus Mohammed who missed the last AFCON in Cameroon, goalkeeper Richard Ofori of South Africa’s Orlando Pirates and Celta Vigo defender, Joseph Aidoo.
Noticeably absent from the squad were former international Harrison Afful, Sassuolo’s Alfred Duncan, Southampton’s Mohammed Salisu and Crystal Palace’s Jeffrey Schlupp whose names enjoyed a lot of mention on media platforms that speculated on the list following the delay in the announcement.
Other big names to miss Friday’s encounter will be the skipper of the side, Andre Ayew who is missing through suspension, his brother Jordan Ayew who is reportedly out with Covid-19 and Majeed Ashimeru who was not invited.
Otto Addo’s goalkeeping department would have Swindon Town’s Joseph Wolacott, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen from KAS Eupen in Belgium, St Gallen’s Lawrence Ati Zigi and Orlando Pirates’ Richard Ofori.
Club Brugge defender and debutant, Denis Odoi leads the defence which also has Andy Yiadon (Reading FC-England); Gideon Mensah (Bordeaux-France); Denis Korsah (Hearts of Oak-Ghana); Montari Kamaheni (Ashdod FC-Israel); Daniel Amartey (Leicester-England); Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo-Spain); Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg-France) and Abdul Mumin (Vitoria Guimaraes-Portugal).
In midfield, Coach Otto Addo will rely on Iddrisu Baba (RCD Mallorca-Spain); Edmund Addo (FC Sherif-Moldova); Mohammed Kudus (Ajax Amsterdam-Holland); Elisha Owusu (KAA Gent-Belgium); Thomas Partey (Arsenal-England) and Daniel Kofi Kyereh (FC St Pauli-Germany).
New striking sensation, Felix Afena Gyan from Roma, Italy will be part of the striking department which will also have Christopher Antwi-Adjei (VFL Bochum); Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace-England) and Kwesi Wriedt (Holstein Kiel-Germany).
Four players – Issahaku Fatawu (Sporting FC-Portugal); Osman Bukari (FC Nantes-France); Joseph Paintsil (KRC Gent-Belgium) and Yaw Yeboah (Columbus Crew-USA) have been selected as wingers.
The Back Stars will take on the Super Eagles in two matches scheduled for Kumasi and Abuja respectively as the search for a ticket to November’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar heats up.
Ghana will host the first leg encounter at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Friday travel to Abuja for the second leg on Tuesday, March 29, 2022.
BY ANDREW NORTEY