Friday Nov 17, 2023. 11:00
Ghana will top the bill on a busy Friday 17 November in Africa’s World Cup Qualifiers (WCQ), as they welcome Madagascar to Kumasi to get their Group I campaign underway.
The Black Stars, who have appeared at four of the last five World Cup tournaments (only missing out on Russia 2018) will be one of the favourites in Group I, which also features Comoros v Central African Republic in Moroni and Mali hosting Chad in Bamako on Friday.
Ghana’s clash against Madagascar is set for the Baba Yara Stadium in the early evening, with coach Chris Hughton under pressure following defeats to Mexico and the United States in the previous international window in October.
“It’s for me as coach to learn from our players’ performances and how we can improve, because ultimately you’re now playing competition games – two World Cup qualifiers,” Hughton explained.
“They’re two games [against Madagascar and Comoros next Tuesday] that we must do well in. My role as coach of the Black Stars is to get the best results and the best performances from the team. You can’t always get that.
“But you can always learn from your previous experiences, whether it’s good or bad. And, ultimately, I will work as hard as I always do to try to get things the best way that we can.”
Other heavyweights in action on Friday include Ivory Coast, who will open their Group F campaign at home to Seychelles in Abidjan, as well as Cameroon, who will take on Mauritius in Douala in their first Group D clash.
The Indomitable Lions hold the record for the most appearances at a World Cup by an African team (eight), but coach Rigobert Song is under pressure to improve performances after his team struggled over the line in Africa Cup of Nations qualification.
Other big names in action include 2012 African champions Zambia, who will open Group E with a clash against Congo in Ndola – with Chipolopolo coach Avram Grant recalling Brian Mwila, who has been out of the national team for two years – as well as Tunisia, who have appeared in five of the last seven World Cups and will open their Group H campaign at home to Sao Tome & Principe.
Friday 17 November WCQ fixtures
15:00: Comoros v Central African Republic
15:00: Eswatini v Libya
15:00: Guinea v Uganda
18:00: Ghana v Madagascar
18:00: Liberia v Malawi
18:00: Zambia v Congo
21:00: Burkina Faso v Guinea-Bissau
21:00: Cameroon v Mauritius
21:00: Ivory Coast v Seychelles
21:00: Mali v Chad
21:00: Tunisia v Sao Tome & Principe