Ghana National Football Team – All You Should Know

Ghana National Football Team

| 02.09.2020
Ghana National Football Team – All You Should Know

Ghana National Football Team - All Facts and News 2020/21

The Beginnings

Founded as the Gold Coast Football Association in 1920, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) succeeded in 1957. The next year, the Ghana National Football Team was accepted into the Confederation of African Football and FIFA.
Charles Kumi Gyamfi became head coach in 1961, and he led the Black Stars to the African Cup of Nations titles in 1963 and 1965. Shortly after their second AFCON trophy, they recorded their biggest win, 13–2 away to Kenya. Ghana’s domination at this tournament earned them the nicknames of "the Black Stars of Africa" and "the Black Stars of West Africa" in the 1960s.

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World Cup and 21st Century

Although Ghana won the AFCON On two more occasions, in 1978 and 1982, they didn’t have much success in the qualifications for the FIFA World Cup. In their defense, no African country reached the World Cup until 1982 (with the exception of Egypt at WC 1934). The luck of the Ghana National Football Team changed in the 21st century as they booked their ticket to the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. The Black Stars opened the competition with a 2–0 loss to eventual champions Italy but beat the Czech Republic (2–0) and the United States (2–1). They reached the knockout stage, where they lost 3–0 to Brazil.

Ghana National Team huddles during a World Cup match against the USA

According to the FIFA World Rankings, Ghana made it to the No. 14 in 2008. The Black Stars secured a 100 percent record in their qualification group, winning the group and becoming the first African nation to punch its ticket for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. At the main tournament, the Ghana National Football Team played in Group D alongside Germany, Serbia, and Australia. After making it to the second round for the second time in a row, Ghana defeated USA 2–1 in extra time. It became the third African nation to reach quarter-finals at the World Cup.

Then, the historic game was played against Uruguay. This match will always be remembered by both Ghana and Uruguay fans. Namely, Ghana had a chance to qualify for the semis with a penalty kick in extra-time after Luis Suarez’s deliberate handball. However, Asamoah Gyan missed it, and Uruguay later went on to win the penalty shootout and go to the semi-final.
AFCON success and WC 2014 disappointment

Back to their continent, Ghana became the only side in Africa to reach four straight semi-finals of the AFCON on two occasions, between 1963 and 1970 and 2008 to 2013.

For the first time in their football history, Ghana didn’t have to play the preliminary qualification games for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. They were highly ranked by FIFA and began battling in the second round of qualifications. The Black Stars won the group, and in the next round, they defeated Egypt 7-3 on aggregate to book their place at the WC 2014. Once again, Ghana was drawn in the same group with Germany, Portugal, and the United States were also in Group G. Although they turned out to be the only team not to lose to Germany at the World Cup that year, a 2-2 draw was the only positive from the tournament because Ghana exited the competition with just one point. The atmosphere in the locker room was poor, mostly because of bad planning and low payment bonuses. Bad chemistry translated to the football pitch and resulted in disappointing results. They failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Venues and training grounds

Unlike most of the countries from around the world, there is no national stadium in Ghana, at which the Black Stars are playing international games. Ghana plays their World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifying games at several different stadiums such as the Len Clay Stadium, Sekondi-Takoradi, Essipong, Abrankese, Kumasi Sports, Tamale Stadium, Cape Coast Sports Stadium and, the Accra Sports Stadium. On the other hand, a few smaller, regional venues have been used in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying and 2004 African Cup of Nations qualifying stages.

The Ghana National Football Team training grounds and training facilities are situated at the multi-functional Lizzy Sports Complex in Legon, Berekum Sports Stadium in Brong-Ahafo, Agyeman Badu Stadium, and the Tema Sports Stadium in Tema.

Rivalry with Nigeria

Ghana vs Nigeria Flags

Ghana’s greatest footballing rival is the national team of Nigeria, also known as the Super Eagles. The rivalry called the "Battle of Supremacy on the Gulf of Guinea" is between two of the most successful sides in Africa. Not only that, they are rivals in football, they also have a diplomatic rivalry that goes for decades back.

Notable players and records

Asamoah Gyan, a tragedian from the aforementioned 2010 World Cup in South Africa, is also Ghana’s all-time top scorer and all-time most capped player. Gyan started his career at Liberty Professionals in his native country before moving to Italy to join Udinese. They are famous for scouting players from Ghana (Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari, Kwadwo Asamoah, and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu). He then played for Rennes, Sunderland, and in the UAE and China. At the same time, the last season, Gyan spent with NorthEast United FC in India.

Gyan scored 51 goals for Ghana, even 36 more than Andre Ayew, who is still active. In comparison, Asamoah has 15 goals more than the second on the list - Kwasi Owusu. The famous Anthony Yeboah, who represented Ghana between 1985 and 1997, has 29 goals on 59 caps. When it comes to the international caps, Gyan is also a record-holder in that segment with 109 caps and is the only Ghanaian footballer with 100+ matches for the national team.

Among other notable players, we have to mention bothers Ayew, Andre and Jordan, Richard Kingson, John Paintsil, Sulley Muntari, and John Mensah.

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