Tag: Kwesi Appiah


The Player everyone was talking about…It’s Kwesi Appiah!

The Newest Blackstar and his rapid rise to fame!

The disapointment of Ghana losing the AFCON final on penalties to Ivory Coast is still very fresh in everyone’s mind. However there were a lot of positives to take from the tournament, particularly the performances of individual players who significantly raised their game. There was one player in particular who’s name was on everyone’s lips. Picture a light skinned face being imprinted in your mind. You know someone is a star when their charisma and talent cannot be overlooked, who else this can be but the one and only Kwesi Appiah!

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Having  been named as a Man of the Match for his exceptional performance in Ghana’s 3-0 win over Guinea in the Africa Cup of Nations quarter final clash, it is not surprising why he has the whole of Africa rooting for him.

Kwesi Appiah played his full competitive debut and scored his first international goal to get Ghana through to the semi-finals. He fearlessly stroke a second goal just on the nick of half-time and played a part in the opening goal which was scored by Christian Atsu.

Born in Thamesmead, London, Appiah’s career is still growing from strength to strength. The 24-year-old British Ghanaian striker is currently on loan at Football League side Cambridge United.Kwesi Appiah is on a second loan stint from top tier side Crystal Palace and has scored six times in 18 appearances this season. Kwesi Appiah has enjoyed a rapid rise to fame. It was only 4 years ago he was a supporter at Wembley watching Ghana take on England and now he is playing for them in an international tournament!

His father has played a huge influence in his decision making relating to career choices and Kwesi Appiah has always had a soft spot for the Ghana Black stars. He states “My dad’s been the biggest influence in my career so it would have been silly not to take that side of things. I had a lot of Ghanaian culture in my life while I was growing up, and he’s been very supportive of me throughout so it’s my way of repaying him and my family. I’ve always been a Black Stars fan – you might even have seen pictures on Twitter of me at games supporting them – so to be here now is amazing.”

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Kwesi Appiah has been an asset to the Ghana Black Stars team and has fitted in brilliantly well with the whole squad particularly with his enthusiasm and his love for dancing. I am certain that the Ghana Black Stars have welcomed him with open arms and have given him a sense of belonging.

Here at Me Firi Ghana, we are proud of the rise of Kwesi Appiah and we would like to wish him every success with his football career. Greater things are coming his way and his hard work will surely establish him as a permanent fixture in the Ghanaian side  .

Check out the video below of Kwesi Appiah dancing for his teammates at the Africa Cup of Nations. It’s great to see the star being free, that’s what being a Ghanaian is all about.

Adwoa Asiedu (AdwoaAsiedu777)

Spotlight on New Black Stars Coach…

Avram Grant appointed as new Black Stars Coach

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After some thorough reflections and discussions, it is clear to see that a new light has shone admist the cloud of the unknown. It has been reported that Avram Grant has been appointed as the new Black Stars coach after agreeing a 27 month contract according to Ghana’s football association.

Does the name Avram Grant sound familiar? Let’s delve into some history of the newly appointed Black Stars coach.

Grant was the former coach for Chelsea who suffered defeat by Manchester United in the 2008 European Champions League final. He was most recently the technical director at Thai side BEC Tero Sasana. Avant Grant’s credentials include coaching at Partizan Belgrade from 2012 to 2014, during which time he directed the club to their fifth successive Serbian championship. Besides, Grant has international experience having spent four years at the helm of Israel’s national side. Grant replaces Kwesi Appiah who led the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but departed the job in September. It is also believed that Grant will lead the Black Stars in January’s Africa Cup of Nations finals.

GFA President Kwesi Nyantekyi had these generous words to say about the new coach:

Avram Grant is a motivator and an organiser. We needed someone with a certain stature or pedigree who can manage the egos of our players as well as their expectations and those of Ghanaians in general.

“He has managed a lot of top-class players, and coping with high profile players has been the bane of many African coaches. We believe his quality will turn things around for us.”

Who isn’t eager to see the new coach in action and see if he truly is the hailing hero that we’ve all been anticipating for. No pressure Avram Grant. We can only hope that he will be an inspirational force to our dear Black Stars.

Adwoa Asiedu (@AdwoaAsiedu777)

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)

 

AFCON 2015 Qualifier: Ghana 1 -1 Uganda

Ayew Penalty Salvages Draw for Black Stars as fans stay away in Kumasi

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Ghana was forced to come from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Uganda in its opening Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Saturday. The Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi was noticeably empty as fans decided to stay away after a dismal World Cup riddled with off-the-field problems.

Kwesi Appiah’s men made an unconvincing start to their qualifying campaign in Kumasi. Without Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng  (suspended indefinitely because of disciplinary problems) the host toiled against their opponents, ranked 45 places below it in the world.

After Tony Mawejje had given Uganda the lead at the end of the first half, Ghana was grateful to receive a controversial penalty that Andre Ayew confidently dispatched to earn the hosts a point

Ghana made the brighter start, and captain Asamoah Gyan was twice denied by fine saves from Uganda goalkeeper Denis Onyango. Those stops proved crucial on the stroke of halftime as Mawejje gave the visitors the lead with a shot from the edge of the area that bounced awkwardly in front of Fatau Dauda and flew into the corner.

Ghana reacted strongly at the start of the second half and was level in the 50th minute. Abdul Majeed Waris was judged to have been felled inside the box and, after protests from the Uganda players fell on deaf ears, Ayew sent his spot kick straight down the middle.

Uganda almost retook the lead immediately, but Dauda tipped Brian Umony’s low effort onto the post. Although Ghana had much the better of the final half an hour, Appiah’s men were unable to force a winner and will now travel to Togo for their next Group E qualifier Wednesday, while Uganda will host Guinea

 

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_Ghana)

Review: Sarkodie / Amakye Dede Live in London – 24/8/2014

The Highlife legend and the “Rapperholic” set the Dominion Theatre Ablaze!

Bank Holiday Sunday saw the much-anticipated joint live concert of multiple award winners Sarkodie & Amakye Dede take place at the Dominion Centre in London’s Wood Green.

Hosted by the hilarious Simply Andy & the sublime Ohemaa Ghana, this was an unmissable event which was to showcase two of the grandest and greatest artists of Ghana’s past and present. Ghana national coach Kwesi Appiah took his seat amongst the capacity crowd in anticipation of what was to be an incredible night.

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And the concert did not disappoint. Sarkodie showed himself to be already a true giant of the Ghanaian music scene at just 29 years of age, brooding with effortless confidence as the crowd rapped and sung along to every hit tune – even then, it was impossible at times to keep up with his blistering rap speed! A particularly comedic moment showcased Sarkodie’s stunning skills of improvisation and quick thought as a security guard came onto the stage to pick up cash which had been thrown upon the artist and Sarkodie told him that he didn’t mind if the guard failed to collect all the notes as for him ‘money no be prablem!’ It’s fair to say most of the raucous crowd was slayed by that line!

Sarkodie’s powerhouse performance was dotted with some special guest appearances. Popular actor John Dumelo & international football star Emmanuel Adebayor jumped onto the stage with Sarkodie to display their azonto skills, while a rendition of ‘Down on One’ triggered a special surprise appearance by UK’s very own Fuse ODG.

However it was undeniable who truly owned the Dominion Centre stage. This was Sarkodie’s night, and he had the crowd eating out of his hand with every move and every lyric. There was no greater example of this than when the super smash hit ‘Adonai’ finally dropped, and all composure was lost amongst the crowd in the arena. Obia nto ne collection! It was a particularly poignant performance in light of recent events concerning the co-artist of this remix track, but Obidi Pon Bidi powered through with sheer heart & talent to deliver an unforgettable rendition which sealed off an outstanding set.

Ghana’s premier urban artist then gave way to one of the greatest legends of Ghanaian music, the incomparable ‘Iron Boy’ Amakye Dede! Backed by an awesome live band, the ‘Abrantie’ himself fizzed and crackled with electric energy, which transmitted across the capacity crowd. Jumping across stage and along the aisles with more vim than men half his age, Dede produced a masterclass of a live performance which would put many artists of today to shame. If he could bottle what runs through his veins and sell it to the masses, he would be even richer than most!

images83SBMQTJ Only the dead would have been able to keep completely still as Mr. Dede rolled back the clock and got the audience dancing to his irrepressible highlife. Some female fans couldn’t help themselves and even breached the stage to shower Amakye Dede with cash and compliments! You couldn’t fail to be manipulated and moved by the breathtaking vibrancy and colour of Amakye Dede and his live band. As far as legends go, there aren’t many out there greater than this giant of an artist, and he didn’t disappoint here at the Dominion Centre.

As the night drew to a close and the curtain finally fell upon the Dominion Centre stage, you couldn’t deny this had been an awesome & successful event. Ghana came to London this night. On this late-summer’s evening, a stunning live meeting saw two phenomenal Black Stars of Ghanaian Music shine brighter than ever in the capital.

Dr. Jermaine Bamfo (@Dr_Jabz27)

Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing Adam Kwarasey…

A Safe pair of hands!

 

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Adambathia Larsen Kwarasey is quietly cementing himself as Ghana’s first choice keeper ahead of the likes of Fatau Dauda and Stephen Adams. His recent excellent performance against the Netherlands in Rotterdam will do his chances of starting in the World Cup no harm at all. He was arguably Ghana’s best player and kept the scoreline to a respectable 1-0.

Born in Oslo to a Ghanaian father and a Norwegian mother ,the 6ft 3 inch Kwarasey started out playing youth football with Trosterud and Vålerenga in Norway.After moving to Strømsgodset, he made his debut in May 2007. Kwarasey was the captain of the club when Strømsgodset in 2013 won the Norwegian league titltle for the first time since 1970.He also won the Kniksen Award as the best goalkeeper in the 2013 season. It was in November 2007 that Kwarasey declared that he would play international football for Ghana,  even though he would later play a friendly match for the Norway under-21’s.

In October 2010, Kwarasey received his Ghanaian passport and became eligible to play for Ghana.On 30 July 2011, Kwarasey was called up tothe Ghana national team for a match against Nigeria. That match was postponed due to security reasons,although Kwarasey confirmed his intention to become Ghana’s first-choice goalkeeper. He made his international debut for Ghana in September 2011 in an 2012 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland,before playing in a friendly match against Brazil at Craven Cottage in London three days later.

Kwarasey was named to Ghana’s 23-man squad for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations but did not play a match as Kwesi Appiah favoured Fatou Dauda at the time much to the surprise of many observers. However this time around he looks to have found form at the right time and is favourite to be first choice between the sticks for Brazil.

Adam Kwarasey, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

See below for  Kwarasey in fine form in  a friendly against Brazil!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing James Kwesi Appiah….

The Boss!

 

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James Kwesi Appiah goes into the 2014 World Cup as the first Ghanaian manager (our previous two being Serbian) to take Ghana to a World Cup finals. Even with Ghana being in the toughest World Cup group (according to FIFA rankings) the pressure is on the 53 year old to ensure Ghana at least reach the second round following the rollercoaster ride to the quarter finals in 2010 and the disappointing African Nations Cup campaign last year.

Often much derided by the Ghanaian press there are signs that Appiah is creating a new type of harmony within the squad and could get the best of returning players such as Michael Essien and Kevin Prince Boateng.

Appiah has pedigree in the Ghanaian game. He played as a left back, for Asante Kotoko, between 1983 and 1993. He won 5 caps for the Ghanaian national team between 1987 and 1992. Including two appearances FIFA World Cup qualifying matches where he also captained the team.

During his coaching education he received technical training from both Manchester City and Liverpool. He later became Ghana’s assistant coach between 2007 and 2012. So he knows the players inside out and has also been astute in bringing through some of the younger players in the squad.

He was appointed as the Head coach of the Ghanaian national team in April 2012 when at the time he wasn’t confident on his chances of landing the job even though the media were. He guided Ghana safely through qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil by topping their initial qualifying group. However the real triumph over his critics was overseeing a 6-1 demolition of Egypt in the final qualifying round which all but booked Ghana’s place in Brazil  He was given a new two-year contract in May 2014.

James Kwesi Appiah, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

#LetsGoalGhana

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@kwesitheauthor)

Kwesi Appiah Names final 23 man squad for 2014 World Cup

The Final Cut!

Following Ghana’s 1-0 Friendly loss to Netherlands on Saturday, Ghana  head coach has officially culled his squad. Three players have been dropped from the squad to complete the final 23.

The players to miss out are; Jeffrey Schlupp of Leicester City, Helsingborgs striker David Accam, andTurkey-based Jerry Akaminko, who broke a fibula in Rotterdam. Schlupp who had a difficult game in Rotterdam was unsurprisingly dropped as he really struggled to make any kind of impact. This makes Middlesbrough winger Albert Adomah is the only player based in England to make the squad.

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Kwadwo Asamoah and Michael Essien are two of the eight players in the squad with previous World Cup experience, while Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari will play at their third straight finals.

The Black Stars’ final friendly will be against South Korea in Miami before the team arrive in the Brazilian city Maceio on 11 June, five days before they face the United States.

The final squad is as follows;

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars).

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Rashid Sumalia (Mamelodi Sundowns).

Midfielders: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Mubarak Wakaso (Rubin Kazan).

Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke 04), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux)

#LetsGoalGhana

Kwesi Appiah names Ghana squad for vital World Cup qualifier

KPB, Ayew and Essien recalled but no place for Muntari

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Kwesi Appiah has named a 26 man squad for the vital World Cup qualifier against Zambia on 06 September. This was always going to be an interesting squad selection since Kwesi Appiah had the services of Kevin Prince Boateng and the Ayew brothers to call on so their inclusion or non inclusion was going to be a contentious issue.

Thus in true Ghanaian fashion Kwesi Appiah has got us all talking by including Kevin Prince Boateng, Andre Ayew and surprisingly Michael Essien in his squad. But there is no place on the list for Marseille’s Jordan Ayew or AC Milan’s Sulley Muntari.

Essien has not played for Ghana since facing Congo in June 2011 and his inclusion gives Ghana a boost. However many people will argue that he is not the player he was two years ago and thus may not be guaranteed a place in the starting line up. The same can be said of Andre Ayew and Boateng though I would suggest these two are more likely to start the match than Essien.

On the players omitted, Jordan Ayew may be feeling a little disappointed he has not been selected amongst the strikers. Sulley Muntari may be wondering what his future in the Ghanaian squad is after being overlooked despite the GFA had accepting his written apology in relationto incident in the dressing room following the 2-0 win over Lesotho in June. The incident adds to a long list of misdemeanours in the international career of Muntari and may well signal the beginning of the end of his career.

The squad will begin a training camp for the Zambia match, as well as a friendly in Japan four days later, in Kumasi on 2 September.

The Black Stars know a draw on 6 September will take them through to the final round of World Cup play-offs.  Zambia must win the match in Kumasi if they are to progress to the play-offs

 

The full squad is as follows;

Goalkeepers: Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Adam Kwarasey (Stromgodset, Norway), Razak Braimah (Guadalajara, Spain)

Defenders: Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro, Ukraine), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Kissi Boateng (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns, South Africa), Mohammed Awal (Maritzburg United, South Africa)

Midfielders: Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar, Russia), Yussif Raman Chibsah (Sassuolo, Italy), Michael Essien (Chelsea, England), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy), Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese, Italy), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough, England), Solomon Asante (TP Mazembe, DR Congo), Mubarak Wakaso (Espanyol, Spain), Christian Atsu (Porto, Portugal), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium).

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France), Kevin Prince Boateng (AC Milan, Italy), Abdul Majeed Waris (Spartak Moscow, Russia), Mahatma Otoo (Sogndal, Norway).

 

What do you think of the squad? are you pleased by the return of the trinity (Ayew, KPB & Essien) and was Appiah right to drop Essien?

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana triumphs over Suda

Ghana grab vital win against Sudan in World Cup qualifier

 

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In their first match since the disappointing CAN 2013 tournament, Ghana made light work of Sudan by earning to a 4-0 victory in their World Cup qualifier at the Baba Yara stadium in Kumasi. Ghana needed to win convincingly to satisfy their fans and also close the gap on group leaders Zambia.

Before the match midfielder Sulley Muntari talked about how desperate the Black Stars are to reach Brazil 2014 to make up for the disappointment of CAN 2013. You could see the urgency in the Black Stars play as they begun the game on an aggressive note, giving little room to their Sudanese counterparts to operate.

It was striker, Asamoah Gyan who broke the deadlock on nineteen minutes before Mubarak Wakaso hit a half-volley to increase the lead. Which meant Ghana went into the break with a 2-0 lead. After half time, Sudan looked like the stronger side but failed to translate that into goals. They worked themselves into the game and Ramadan Agab should have scored when he was left with only the Ghana goalkeeper to beat but blasted his effort. The North Africans kept a little bit of pressure on the Black Stars as they took advantage of some slack passing.

Black Stars coach, Kwesi Appiah made some changes which saw the likes of Solomon Asante, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu and Emmanuel Frimpong joining action. The Black Stars still did not enjoy the majority of the in possession following the changes and resorted to counter attacks which produced two other goals; Spartak Moscow striker Abdul Majeed Waris got his name on the score sheet on his debut competitive match before playing a part in the fourth goal which was scored by Agyemang Badu.

The Black Stars remain second in Group D with six points, just one point behind leaders Zambia, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Lesotho. The group winners will advance to a decisive two-legged playoff that will determine Africa’s five representatives at next year’s World Cup in Brazil.

Although not a brilliant performance Ghana were ruthless in front of goal and will need to be in their remaining games if they are to qualify for the final round playoff. Another win against Sudan in the return match in June should put the Black Stars in a good position going into the final two games.

By Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@kwesitheauthor)