Tag: Ghana Football Team


AFCON 2017: GHANA DRAWN IN GROUP D AND FACE FAMILIAR FOES

The Blackstars of Ghana have been drawn in Group D of AFCON 2017 alongside Egypt, Mali and Uganda as the draw was made yesterday in Libreville, Gabon.

Egypt, Ghana and Uganda will  be tired of the sight of each other having been drawn together in Group D only four months after they were placed in the same group for 2018 World Cup qualifying.

Seven-time African champions Egypt will be eager to revive their dominance after some years of under-performing, while Ghana are desperate to win their first title since 1982 and go one better than the runners-up spot they achieved last year and in 2012 and 1992.

Uganda’s last appearance at the tournament was in 1978, when they lost in the final to Ghana.

Gabon kick off the tournament on 14 January, with the final on 5 February.

The hosts appear to have been fortunate in the draw, pitched in Group A alongside debutants Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon and Burkina Faso.

This years competition has been described as the most open for years so promises to be an exciting team. Though one notable absentee are the 2013 winners Nigeria who failed to qualify.

The full group draw is as follows;

2017 AFCON – GROUP STAGES

Group A: Gabon (Hosts), Guinea-Bissau, Cameroon, Burkina Faso

Group B: Algeria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, Senegal

Group C: Ivory Coast, DR Congo, Morocco, Togo

Group D: Ghana, Egypt, Mali, Uganda

Will 2017 be the year Ghana finally end their 34 year wait for glory? Lets hope so!

Me FiRi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_Ghana)

AFCON 2015: Ghana 1-0 Algeria…

Commeth the hour, Commeth the Gyan!

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Asamoah Gyan came off his sickbed to secure a dramatic late win for Ghana against Algeria in their second match in Group C. Ghana’s captain who had missed their opening game defeat to Senegal with a bout Malaria came up trumps again for the Black Stars with a goal which has breathed life into Ghana’s hopes of reaching quarter finals.

In a game of very few chances, Gyan snatched an unlikely victory when he latched on to a long ball from Mubarak Wakaso and angled in a drive in stoppage time.

Algeria missed the only other clear chance when Nabil Bentaleb side-footed well wide from 12 yards in the first half. The game had looked set to remain goalless until Gyan’s late strike. The striker has now scored in each of his last six games for the Black Stars,

In a very scrappy game Ghana failed to muster a single effort at goal in the opening period as the Algerian defence, well marshalled by returning captain Madjid Bougherra. Algeria were the better team in the first half but Ghana improved after the breaks. Howveer Gyan  could not direct a difficult diving header on target and dragged another shot well wide and Ghana striker Jordan Ayew flicked over an improvised volley at the near post after being set up by his brother Andre.

Algeria missed a Bentaleb fizzed a low shot wide of the right post after being played in by Brahimi. Thus it was left to Gyan to score the winner with a couple minutes to go in injury time

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At his post match press conference Ghana coach Avram Grant stated: Asamoah Gyan was not fit – he didn’t train like he needed to – but he’s Asamoah Gyan, if you look at the stats and his behaviour in the dressing room.

 

“You know I have been coach of some of the great players – he’s one of the greatest. First – he always scores when you need him. Second – he’s good for the spirit of the team – he’s a very good captain.”

So it’s all play to for on the last day in Group C with Ghana facing South Africa and Algeria up against Senegal. A win would secure a place in the quarter finals but a draw may still be enough.

In the Black Stars we trust!

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

 

AFCON 2015 Qualifier: Ghana 3 – 2 Togo

Late Atsu goal gives Black Stars vital win over Togo

 

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Ghana recorded their first win after a poor showing at the 2014 World Cup to restore their hopes of qualifying from Group E for AFCON 2015 after heroics from Christian Atsu.

The winger, on loan at Everton from Premier League rivals Chelsea, hit home the winner five minutes from time to give Kwesi Appiah’s men victory in the Group E qualifying match in Lome.

Having been held to a 1-1 draw by Uganda last Saturday, Ghana appeared set for further disappointment when Floyd Ayite put the hosts ahead after 12 minutes.

First-half goals from Asamoah Gyan and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu quickly turned things around for Ghana, only for Emmanuel Adebayor to seemingly rescue a point for Togo 13 minutes from time.

But the hosts were left heartbroken as Atsu settled the game in Ghana’s favour, boosting their hopes of qualifying for a competition they have won on four occasions.

Togo will have been keen to get back to winning ways after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Guinea in their opening match last Friday.

And Tchakala Tchanile’s men promptly made a superb start as Ayite capitalised on a defensive mistake from the visitors to find the net at the second time of asking after seeing his initial effort blocked by goalkeeper Stephen Adams.

Yet Togo’s lead lasted just 12 minutes, striker Gyan levelling matters with a towering header into the bottom corner, before midfielder Agyemang-Badu completed the turnaround in the 34th minute.

The Udinese man was left unmarked by the Togo defence and made no mistake as he nodded home Abdul Rahman’s low cross at the near post.

Ghana held out for much of the second half with little difficulty, however, Adebayor set the stage for a frantic finale when he netted with a towering header.

But it was Atsu who had the final say, the 22-year-old using his pace to break free from the defence, confidently slotting home to seal all three vital points for Ghana.

 Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_Ghana)

 

Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing Asamoah Gyan

Captain Fantastic!

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Asamoah Gyan is known the world over as the man who missed the crucial penalty against Uruguay in 2010 World Cup quarter final in South Africa. He is also allegedly the man who needs 5 chances to score a goal and he is the man who briefly “retired” from international football. However He is the captain, the talisman and Ghana’s chief goal threat. Say what you want about him but his record speaks for itself. He is the man whose goals fired Ghana to the quarter final in the first place. He is also Ghana’s all time leading goal scorer (last scoring against Germany at 2014 World Cup) and the first African to score in three consecutive World Cups. Yes three!

Gyan is a dynamic powerful striker who some may argue has not yet fully reached his potential..

Having signed for Udinese in 2003 from Ghanaian club Liberty Professionals located in Accra, Gyan spent two years on loan at Serie B club Modena to gain match experience. Following some excellent displays during the 2006 World Cup, he attracted interest from Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow. Gyan returned to Udinese at the start of 2006, but in February 2007, Udinese pulled out of a deal to sell him in the January transfer window. The striker was on the verge of signing a 3-year deal with Lokomotiv Moscow for US$10.5 million, which would have been the fourth largest transfer fee in Russian football.

In August 2007 Gyan signed an improved 5-year contract extension to stay at Udinese until 30 June 2012 as a reward for his fine form.He remained there for just over a year then in July 2008, Gyan was signed by French Ligue 1 Club Stade Rennais , Gyan played 48 times for Rennes, scoring 14 goals. By the end of his stay at Rennes, he became a well known goal scoring figure, scoring 13 league goals in the 2009–10 season. However, Gyan only played three games in Ligue 1 the following season, taking his total appearances to 53, before he departed for Sunderland

After the 2010 World Cup, Gyan signed for Premier League club Sunderland on a four-year deal for record £13 million.. He scored on his Sunderland debut against Wigan Athletic after coming on as a substitute for Danny Welbeck. He finished his first season in English football with 10 league goals. Gyan took the squad number 3 shirt for the 2011–12 season, the same squad number he wears for Ghana. However in September 2011  went on a season long loan at UAE club Al Ain . He later signed a permanent five-year contract with the club on 6 July 2012 worth over £6m per season. He was the top goalscorer in the UAE league in the 2013 season and helped his team retain the league title.

Gyan made his debut for Ghana at the tender age of just 17 scoring on his debut against Somalia in 2003. He was included in the 2006 World Cup Squad and scored the fastest goal of that tournament against the Czech Republic. Along with Sulley Muntari he is the only player to have been selected in all three World Cup squads. He has made 80 appearances for Ghana scoring 41 goals.

If Ghana are now to make it to the second round of the World Cup he will surely have a crucial role to play.

Asamoah Gyan, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

LetsGoalGhana!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing Andre “Dede” Ayew

Wing Wizard!

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He gave Ghanaians something to cheer about on Monday even if it was for only 4 Minutes. Andre “Dede” Ayew son of legendary Ghanaian footballer Abedi “Pele” Ayew sublime equaliser for Ghana against the USA gave us hope but it was not to be. The wing wizard and his team mates endured a frustrating night as for all their possession the final ball was not quite there and in then end his brilliantly worked goal was enough to avoid defeat.

Andre is a winger by trade but can also play in the “No.10” role behind a main striker. He is a talented player who possesses great balance and technical ability. Similar to his father he has an eye for goal but his record is not nearly impressive.

Ayew began his career at the tender age of ten playing for Nania, a club whom his father is currently the chairman of, in Accra, Ghana. After four years in the club’s youth academy, Ayew was promoted to the team’s senior squad at the age of 14. Ayew played at Nania for two seasons before departing the club and returning to France to play for his father’s former club Marseille.

798c19e9bca44d775d39cc2c790d28dfIt was at Marseille that Ayew began to make a name for himself. He made his debut for them in 2007 and spent a couple of seasons on the fringes of the squad before he was loaned out. However it was not until he returned in 2010 that he established himself in the first team and was voted Marseille Best Player for the season 2010–2011. He won two French cups in 2011 and 2012 and has racked up 34 goals for Marseille in his career including two hat-tricks,

Ayew is a seasoned Ghanaian international. At youth level, he  captained the Ghana under-20 team that won both the 2009 African Youth Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. At senior level, Ayew made his debut in August 2007 against Senegal in London. He has since represented Ghana at the 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On 16 December 2011, a day to his 22nd birthday, he was named the BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2011 and  was crowned as the Ghanaian Footballer of the Year.

He has 50 Caps for Ghana with 6 goals and can add to that tally in Ghana’s forthcoming games against Germany and Portugal. He will need to be at his dynamic best if Ghana are to overcome what is now a daunting task to qualify for the second round.

#LetsGoalGhana

Ben JK Anim-Antwi(@Kwesitheauthor)

An Epistle Poem for Our fellow Black Stars…..

Dear Black Stars

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Dear Black Stars,

From our hearts to yours,

We say to you:

Have no fear brothers.

We believe in you !

 

There’s a reason why there is a star in the middle of the Ghana flag.

The star is a reminder of who you are.

You have a purpose. You are chosen !

You are black stars, set apart to reign !

 

Dear Black Stars,

Use your identity to score like stars, attack like stars and defend like stars.

Heaven is behind you and I hear applause.

I hear multitudes of people rejoicing over you.

Brazil world cup 2014, we are ready for you.

Warriors by nature, we won’t back down without a fight !

Viva Black Stars ! Make us proud

 

Adwoa Asideu (@AdwoaAsiedu777)

Let’s Goal Ghana!: Butterflies In Our Stomachs, Black Star Across Our Chests

After four years, our chance at redemption arrives – It’s Game Time

The FIFA World Cup…Arguably the most popular sporting event in the world.

Mesmeric. Monumental.
The one moment, every four years, where the Beautiful Game cloaks the entire planet in its glory.

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The time when family members and friends who don’t follow the bread-and-butter domestic leagues morph into die-hard supporters; people who scream loudest amongst us in fervent support of their nation, the footballing disease to linger in their systems for a few weeks and rage in their veins before dissapating slowly away to allow them to recover to normality.

For those countries whose national teams have been mainstays of the tournament – the Germanys, the Argentinas, the Brazils of this world – a place in the World Cup has become a birthright, a claim to greatness, a given in the sporting calendar every four years. Almost taken for granted (which, by the way, doesn’t numb or dull the ferocity of their support in any way).

For Ghana, such has been our impact that people forget that this is only our third World Cup.

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The first World Cup, we were all dizzy and light-headed at being present at our first World Cup – a long-denied privilege finally come to reality. We were just happy to be there, and we enjoyed the ride.

The second World Cup? We came back more disciplined. More focused on showing ourselves as not a novelty act, but a force to be reckoned with. By the time we reached the Quarter-Finals, nobody wanted to meet Ghana. We were feared. During the Quarter-Finals, the substance of our play under the South African moon led many to begin to ponder seriously that this Ghana team may be fated at the first African World Cup for a greatness no other African team had yet realised – a place in the World Cup semi-finals.

Let’s not talk about the conclusion to that particular chapter just yet – this is supposed to be a rousing, positive piece…

This World Cup?
Ghana arrives wiser. A conglomerate of experienced heads and effervescent youth. However, Ghana in the world’s eyes has a big problem. The group Ghana found itself in is undoubtedly a horror group, of an extremely intense difficulty.

There can’t be many amongst us who didn’t feel the air punched out of their stomachs when that group was finalised.

There can’t be many who first considered the prospect of a United States team hell bent on revenge, a Germany team as solid and efficient and powerful as any other, and a Portugal team which is home to the best (and arguably, in my opinion, most complete) footballer in the world – and felt good.

But then despair turned to pride, before beginning to turn to defiance.
Because as many of us began to slowly acknowledge, if any African team can get out of such a group, Ghana can.

We’ve done it twice before. We’ll do it again.

And that’s why our social media timelines have lit up in a blaze of red, gold and green. Faces have been painted. Songs have been written. Prominent figures in our community and the everyday Ghanaian have merged subtly into one massive body of support. Regardless of our talent, our natural place in the world, whether it be media, or fashion, or the arts – we are all converging under the three-tiered umbrella that the Big Six built in 1957. Time and energy has been spent building campaigns such as our own Let’s Goal Ghana campaign – not as gallows humour, for a team which is destined for abject failure, but as a rallying war cry for a nation which is confident it will shock the world again!

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2014. Our third World Cup. Ghana come prepared. Ghana come ready. We’ve never come to a World Cup willing to lay down and die for anybody. We’ve always come with intent, to give our best and give our all. Yes, like all great families, we have our issues. We’ve had our complaints over the years. Blood has threatened to turn bad, and relationships have threatened to turn sour. But as the World Cup commences, all of that has disappated – we have built bridges, forgiven, recovered from our most dejecting moment to stand taller and stronger than before. Now, we unite, with one common purpose. One common goal. To wave our great flag high and proud for the world to see. And to make the world fall in love with us once more with our flair and creativity.

The Brazil of Africa is hellbent on putting on a show and righting some wrongs. However, win lose or draw – our third World Cup is going to be one hell of a ride. So sit back, with your white jersey, your ice-cold supermalt in hand, butterflies in your stomach and black star across your chest – and enjoy the show.

It’s Our Time.

Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Ghana Black Stars; “Nana Nyam3 ne kura y3n”

So I am not an expert when it comes to football… and I probably only ever watch football when the Ghana Black Stars are playing so that’ll be mostly during the African Cup of Nations or when the World Cup is on- but TRUST me whenever the Black Stars are on the field I become an instant expert on all things related to football! In fact I become a self-proclaimed coach and referee at the same time! It’s all part of the excitement!

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It’s been 4 years since ‘SUALEZ’… I need not say anymore! Some of us have moved on and some will forever curse the day ‘SUALEZ’ decided to do some stretching ‘INSIDE DE GOAL’ in the final minutes of a heated semi-final! Hmm… and all you people out there who criticised Baby Jet, please go and volunteer to take the next penalty shot wai, after you have run around the field for 100 minutes! As I said earlier I don’t know very much about football but when people say things like ‘ahhh chale akoa w3i dy3 wonim ball bo kura oo, mon schw3 ne nai’, whilst they are chopping banku and fufuo with supermalt on the side I get irritated! I’m just saying!2014fifaworldcupbrazil_-Group-G-Germany-Ghana-Portugal-USA

Anyway… it’s 2014 and we’re back in the game taking on the world in BRAZIL – Group G… please let us all bow our heads in prayer; psalm 23:4 says ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.’

Despite the fact that we have been placed in a very tough group, there’s hope my fellow Ghanaians, there is hope! The team spirit of the Black Stars alone is very encouraging and commendable. Watching videos of the boys singing and dancing before games is incredibly infectious and each time I join it ends up in a full-blown praise and worship session! NOW tell me which other team do you know of that can create such an atmosphere huh?!

With music playing a key role a number of Brazil 2014 campaign songs have recently been released in support of our Black Stars and one of my current favorites is titled Ghana Black Stars by Castro feat. Kofi Kinaata, check it out ya’ll! This track is on fire- it is very upbeat and brings together familiar tunes from recent hit singles such as ‘Adonai‘ and ‘Odo pa’.

Make sure you have all your gear in check; jerseys, flags and if you haven’t its not too late- go to Kumasi Market!!! Let’s all join in and continue to support our Ghana Black Stars with full ‘VIM’#LetsGoalGhana.

Nora Mistersky (@Ms_Nora_M)

Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing Michael Essien…

The Bison

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When Michael Esseine takes to the field in Brazil for his second World Cup some may argue he is has a point to prove. Once considered one of the finest midfielders in the world there are many who say he is not the force he once was. Not to mention he was not among the Ghana World Cup squad in 2010 due to injury so missed out on the teams epic run to the quarter finals. The fact remains though that he is one of Ghana’s best and most experience players. He has enjoyed a career that a lot of players from the African continent can only dream of.

At his very best though he is a box-to-box midfielder with the ability to exert energy in supporting offensive and defensive play and for his tough tackling style which has earned him the nickname “The Bison”.Essien can also play as a defender, both on the right of defence and in the centre.

Essien began his career playing for Liberty Professionals in Ghana. In 2000, he moved to France joining Bastia. Essien spent three seasons at the club appearing in over 60 matches before joining league champions Olympique Lyonnais in 2003. At Lyon, Essien won back-to-back league titles between 2003-2005 and also played in the UEFA Champions League for the first time. In 2005, Essien signed for Chelsea for a fee of £24.4 million and, at the time of his signing, was the most expensive African footballer in history, but he remains Ghana’s most expensive footballer ever! At Chelsea, Essien helped the club win the Premier League twice, as well as three FA Cups and one Football League Cup. He later signed a season-long loan deal with Real Madrid in 2012, linking him up with José Mourinho, the manager who signed him for Chelsea. Once the loan spell ended he returned to Chelsea but later joined AC Milan in a permanent deal at the beginning of the year.

Essien is a seasoned Ghanaian international. At youth level, he represented his country at the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship and 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship with the latter team finishing as runner-up. Essien made his senior team debut in January 2002 and has represented his nation at three Africa Cup of Nations tournaments and the 2006 FIFA World Cup, where Ghana reached the Round of 16. He has racked up over 50 caps for Ghana since 2002 and has captained the side several times over that period.

Ghana will need Essien at his best in Brazil. The Bison can certainly bite back!

Michael Essien, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

#LetsGoalGhana

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Message from the Editor: Lets Goal Ghana ! The Peoples Campaign

Me Firi Ghana’s Global Social media campaign launches to frenzied activity, Now YOU need to join the movement!

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At 12:00 GMT Tuesday 10th June we launched our World cup social media campaign we believe can be the envy the world over. There has been months of strategizing how best we can execute the campaign and now the time has come to execute with excellence. The word is we are trending in the US with our hashtag #LetsGoalGhana during yesterday afternoons activities, visibly irking the Americans and that’s what it’s all about making impact!

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But why the campaign? …Simply we were inspired to create this campaign because of the exploits of the Ghana team at the last world cup and the affect their success had on all of us. We wanted to make sure this time around all that emotion be it agony and ecstacy was captured, recorded and made accessible for everybody and anybody to tap into..

The objective of the campaign is to create a social media phenomenon, by owning defining moments and conversations relating to the World Cup. We also want to unite, showcase and share the passion of the global Ghanaian community. During this time we want to make Ghana accessible for everyone not just Ghanaians. The campaign will pay particular attention to audiences in the UK, USA, Ghana and Canada within the 18-35 Age demographic.

The campaign will be executed by utilising our social media platforms (Twitter,Facebook & Instagram) as well as our blog posting proactive and reactive content throughout the World Cup using the hash tag #LetsGoalGhana. Our Media partners who include; OMG Ghana, GUBA, Benny Bonsu, Ameyaw Debrah, Goal.com (Ghana) and MyGhanaRoots will be working alongside us to create a unique online experience.

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A world cup toolkit consisting of a selection of exclusive images (created by Me Firi Ghana’s Creative Director Samuel Mensah) will be available for downloaded from 12 June 2014 on our website. These images can be uploaded to various platforms to allow you to get involved and engage with the campaign. Don’t forget fans can also purchase official merchandise and original products via our website.

 Lets Goal Ghana media partner/Ambassador Benny Bonsu said of the campaign;

As a true Ghanaian, my focus this summer is to stay a TRUE GHANAIAN. Our culture, our people and our history show a group of people who are aspirational. This World Cup will be the same. Aspiring to be an inspiration not only to Ghanaians, but to the rest of the world. I am extremely happy to be part of and support the #LetsGoalGhana campaign by #MefiriGhana simply because; it represents a new inspirational Africa. Not just Ghana.”

Now its on you to make the campaign what you want it to be. It has already started impressively and it has the potential to become a worldwide phenomenon. However you want to use the tools of the campaign is up to you but remember whatever you do make sure you do it to inspire, inform and unite not just a generation of Ghanaians but global community of people to love and beauty of Ghanaian culture.

I’m really excited are you? In the Black stars we trust! #LetsGoalGhana !

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)