Pharaohs out to further Black Stars woes

Pharaohs out to further Black Stars woes
Marwan Mohsen of Egypt battles for the ball with Jonathan Mensah of Ghana during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Egypt and Ghana at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 25 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

by Bertin Basson

Sunday Nov 12, 2017. 10:00

Egypt will be aiming to add to Ghana's recent woes when the two nations lock horns in a Group E 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Sunday.

Kick-off is at 15h30 local time (17h30pm CAT).

The Pharaohs have already booked their ticket to next year's showpiece in Russia, with Mohamed Salah's 95th minute penalty against Congo sealing their return to the world stage for the first time since 1990.

The Liverpool ace, though, will play no part in this weekend's clash with Hector Cuper opting to rest his talisman. Mohamed Abdel-Shafy and Ahmed Hegazi have also been ruled out of the clash in a match which is nothing but a mere formality.

Considering what happened at the same venue between the two teams four years ago - a 6-1 win for the hosts - Egypt will want to prove some sort of point, but the onus really falls on Ghana with the Black Stars eager to gain some sort of redemption following their failed qualifying campaign.

If the West African's are to do so, they will have to do it without Thomas Partey with the in-form midfielder to serve a one match suspension.

Andre and Jordan Ayew will also play no part as they were not selected by Kwesi Appiah with Christian Atsu and Asamoah Gyan a doubt due to injury.

Maritzburg United goal-minder Richard Ofori highlighted the importance of the match for the hosts, despite their fate having already been sealed.

“Although, we couldn’t qualify to the World Cup, we need to make sure we win the game as well, especially at home [for pride]," Ofori told "This is because when we went there we lost by two goals and now they’re coming to our home. We can’t sit back and lose the game.

“We need to wake up and win the game. Regarding what went wrong in the whole process, there is one thing about football. Sometimes you play your heart out but you can’t get the results.

"Sometimes, you hope to do your best and sometimes your best is not enough and another team will qualify.What we need to do is do our best for the future,” he concluded.

Goals from Salah and Abdallah Said guided Egypt to a 2-0 win in Alexandria 12 months ago.

Senegalese referee Malang Diedhiou will take charge of the clash.

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