Must-win home game for Ghana

Must-win home game for Ghana
Ghana team picture during the 2026 World Cup Qualifiers match between Mali and Ghana at Stade du 26-Mars in Bamako, Mali on 6 June 2024 ©Mamodo Kante/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Jun 09, 2024. 14:30

Ghana face a must-win match in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers when they welcome the Central Africa Republic to the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi for a Group I clash on the evening of Monday 10 June 2024.

Kick-off is at 21:00 CAT.

Ghana secured a crucial 2-1 victory away to Mali on Thursday night, with Jordan Ayew scoring the decisive goal deep into injury time. The result pushed the Black Stars to six points – a tally they share with Madagascar and Comoros at the top of the group.

However, just two points covers five of the six teams in the group and Ghana cannot afford to miss out on a home win if they are to return to the World Cup in two years’ time.

Coach Otto Addo knows that it will not be a straightforward encounter: “So we will look firmly to see what we can do against Central African Republic.

“To be honest, it’s going to be tougher because now everybody expects us to win and it’s going to be difficult just like [against Mali]. These games are on the edge. If you see all the games, they are all on the edge.”

Central Africa Republic recorded their first win of the qualifiers this past midweek when they defeated Chad 1-0 in Oujda, Morocco, thanks to a first-half strike from Venuste Baboula. They are placed all the way down in fifth in the group, though only two points shy of the leading trio of Madagascar, Comoros and Ghana.

It was a third successive victory in 2024 for the Wild Beasts, who also beat Bhutan and Papua New Guinea in FIFA World Series matches in Sri Lanka back in March – perhaps not the most impressive scalps, but the results speak to a growing confidence for coach Raoul Savoy and his charges.

In head-to-head stats, Ghana and CAR have met in just two previous matches: both were in qualifying for the last edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, with the teams drawing 1-1 in Luanda in June 2022, before the Black Stars won 2-1 in Kumasi in September 2023.

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