Ghana will target a second win in Group G of Africa’s 2022 World Cup Qualifying tournament when they face hosts South Africa at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Monday 6 September, 2021.
The West African side lead the way in the group standings after a win over Ethiopia in Cape Coast on Friday evening, with midfielder Mubarak Wakaso scoring the only goal of the game.
The Black Stars, who are looking to return to the global showpiece after missing the last World Cup in Russia, will be aiming to improve on their attacking play, according to coach C.K. Akonnor.
“If you watch our game we create a lot of chances. This same chances [we converted] against Qatar to score five goals”, Akonnor explained. “So it’s not a situation whereby we cannot score goals but now it seems so but I strongly believe we will score goals. We are doing well and creating chances. With time it will come.”
South Africa got their group stage off to a solid if unspectacular start by holding neighbours Zimbabwe 0-0 in Harare on Friday afternoon.
Bafana Bafana generally played on the back foot, but put in a sound defensive display and created the better scoring opportunities. Yet they will need to go up a gear or two given the higher quality of players Ghana have at their disposal.
“I’m happy about the mentality,” coach Hugo Broos explained. “I think the players showed a good mentality while defensively I think it was alright. We didn’t give too many chances to Zimbabwe and the defence was there so I’m happy about that also.”
The Belgian added, “You have to score to win games. [Against Zimbabwe] it was not so good offensively and I think we have to work on that.”
In head-to-head stats, South Africa and Ghana have met in 14 matches across all competitions and friendlies since their first recorded clash back in 1994. The Black Stars and Bafana Bafana have claimed four wins apiece, with six games ending in draws.
The teams last met in a friendly in March of this year, at the FNB Stadium, which ended 1-1 after goals from Emmanuel Gyasi and Percy Tau.
Where to watch
The game will be live on GTVSports+
Akonnor put faith in Wakaso against Ethiopia and was rewarded with the China-based midfielder’s match-winning strike.
Mohammed Iddrisu Baba was selected alongside Wakaso last time out in the absence of Thomas Parteyand Mohammed Kudus, a combination Ghana are likely to stick with.
Jonathan Mensah is likely to step in for Daniel Amartey who could not travel with the team due to covid restrictions.
Yaw Yeboah could come in for his full debut.
Emmanuel Gyasi is likely to start alongside Joel Fameye who could replace Jordan Ayew upfront.
As for South Africa, after opting for a cautious approach against Zimbabwe, Broos may be tempted to change things slightly for the visit of Ghana.
Ineffective attacking midfielder Gift Links was taken off at half time and replaced by Bongokuhle Hlongwane, who joined Evidence Makgopa up top.
Central midfielder Sipho Mbuleis another option should Broos wish to freshen up his side.
South Africa possible starting lineup:
Williams; Morena, Xulu, De Reuck, Mobbie; Mvala, Mokoena, Singh; Hlongwane, Makgopa, Links
Ghana possible starting lineup:
Richard Ofori; Gideon Mensah, Alexander Djiku, Jonathan Mensah, Fatawu Mohammed, Mubarak Wakaso, Baba Idrissu, Yaw Yeboah, Emmanuel Gyasi; Andre Ayew and Joel Fameye.
South Africa 1-0 Ghana
Ghana are in control of Group G thanks to their win in their opening group game against Ethiopia. A further win in Johannesburg would put South Africa’s qualification hopes into serious doubt.
The hosts are unbeaten in their last eight matches and have kept a clean slate in seven of those matches which means they will be very difficult to beat.
They are favourites to win the match against the Black Stars who have been decimnated by the absence of about nine top players.