Andre Ayew of Ghana reacts
Tuesday Jan 17, 2017. 15:30
Ghana will look to get their Group D campaign at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations off to a fast start when they face Uganda.
The teams will meet in Port-Gentil on January 17, kick-off at 18h00 CAT.
Ghana come to the 2017 AFCON looking to end their long wait for a fifth African crown, having last lifted the trophy back in 1982. They came so close in Equatorial Guinea two years ago, but ultimately succumbed to Ivory Coast in the final.
As for Uganda, this is their first appearance at the AFCON finals since 1978 and coach Milutin Sredojevic’s side have triumphed just by qualifying.
However, the Cranes shouldn’t be written off - something Ghana supporters know all too well after seeing their side held to a goalless draw on home soil by the East Africans in a World Cup qualifier back in October.
The teams have clashed in 10 previous matches, according to FIFA’s official statistics, with three wins apiece. Their last AFCON tournament meeting was the final of the 1978 edition when Ghana won 2-0 in Accra.
Black Stars coach Avram Grant has admitted that Uganda - and Group D overall - will be a difficult assignment for the four-time AFCON champions.
"We need to know that the first game against Uganda is a very difficult game because we saw them beat Slovakia 3-1,” Grant told 3Sports, as quoted by GHANASoccernet.
“We know we have a tough group. But also the other teams know that we are tough for them. So first we need to qualify.”
Ghana - Asamoah Gyan
Ghana’s all-time leading scorer and captain, Asamoah Gyan is a definite starter if he is fit. However, the veteran striker has struggled with a series of injuries in the past year and the Black Stars will be praying his body stays together for the duration of their AFCON campaign.
Uganda - Farouk Miya
Regarded as one of the most promising young players in African football, Farouk Miya scored the goal which secured Uganda’s qualification for the 2017 AFCON. The 21-year-old attacker will hope to use the tournament in Gabon as a launch pad to take his career to even greater heights.
Head-to-Head - Ghana v Uganda
Ghana FIFA ranking: 54
Uganda FIFA ranking: 73
Matches played: 10
Ghana wins: 3
Uganda wins: 3
Ghana goals scored: 10
Uganda goals scored: 8
Last match: 7 October 2016 in Tamale - Ghana 0-0 Uganda