Ghana, SA seek fast start to 2021 qualifiers

Ghana, SA seek fast start to 2021 qualifiers
Asamoah Gyan of Ghana celebrates goal with teammates during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Last 16 match between Ghana and Tunisia at the Ismailia Stadium, Ismailia on the 08 July 2019 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Nov 14, 2019. 08:00

Ghana and South Africa will both be looking for a fast start to their 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign when they meet in a Group C match at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Thursday night, kick-off at 21:00 CAT.

Ghana come into the clash looking to bounce back from their disappointing round of 16 exit at the AFCON in Egypt earlier this year, where they were eliminated by Tunisia to see their wait for a first African title since 1982 further extended.

The pressure is high on coach Kwesi Appiah, who needs a strong showing against Bafana Bafana (and a good qualification campaign overall) to keep his spot as Black Stars boss.

This match will also be a first competitive fixture for new coach Molefi Ntseki, though his team brings some momentum into the clash following their 2-1 home win over Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge match played last month.

Ntseki was part of former coach Stuart Baxter’s technical team and looking to build on the foundation laid by his predecessor, with hopes high that South Africa can slowly begin a return to being considered one of the continent’s football powerhouses.

In head-to-head stats, Ghana and South Africa have met in 12 previous matches. Bafana Bafana have claimed four wins compared to three for the Black Stars, while five games have been drawn.

The teams met in a friendly ahead of the 2019 AFCON back in June. The match, played in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates as part of the teams’ preparations for the tournament in Egypt, ended in a goalless stalemate. Ghana’s last home match against SA – a World Cup qualifier way back in June 2004 – ended in a 3-0 win for the West Africans heavyweights.

The teams will go on to play a further qualifying match each within days of their meeting in Cape Coast: South Africa will be at home to Sudan on Sunday 17 November, while Ghana will be away to minnows Sao Tome e Principe the following day.

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