African Cup Of Nations PUMA Team Guide #5: Ghana

  • Written on:
Ghana-action

The four time champions haven't won the trophy since 1982. Can they put an end to 30 years of hurt?

Previous tournament form…

In the absence of Egypt, Nigeria and Cameroon, Ghana has by far the best record of any team in the tournament. The four time winners make their 18th appearance in the competition but despite their pedigree are looking to end a 30-year trophy drought having last seized the cup in 1982.

How they qualified...

The group winners were unbeaten in qualifying. Such was their dominance over Congo, Swaziland and Sudan that The Black Stars didn’t concede a goal in the whole campaign and only failed to score once.

Star players…

In captain John Mensah, midfield general Kwadwo Asamoah and goal-scoring star Asamoah Gyan Ghana have constructed a spine that is the envy of the tournament. Mensah is the defensive rock from which all things are built. Asamoah has inherited the captain’s armband from Stephen Appiah and Gyan has netted 27 times in 54 games. If they are to achieve their goals these three will be involved.

Watch out for...

It’s a toss up between Andre Ayew and his equally promising brother Jordan. The pair play in France at Olympique Marseille following in the footsteps of their father, three-time African Player of the Year, Abedi Pele. Both youngsters have been tipped to impress this tournament but in the ‘one to watch’ stakes, 22 year old Andre just gets the nod by virtue of winning the bronze medal at the 2011 African Footballer of the Year.

The man in charge...

Before this appointment Goran Stevanovic had a modest coaching career but there are no question marks over the Serb’s credentials now as his tactics have led to the Black Stars scoring more goals than his predecessor’s.

Style of play…

Solid in defense and potent in attack they can hit you from all angles. Made up largely of the winning African youth Championship and the U-20 FIFA World Cup of 2009 this young side has a nice blend of ability and enthusiasm.

Most likely to…

Make it to the final. They’ve done so eight times – with only Egypt notching as many.

Least likely to…

Be underestimated. Despite the absence of Chelsea’s Michael Essien and Milan’s Kevin Prince Boateng, they still have one of the most feared squads in the competition. 

Football