South Africa face the daunting prospect of hosting world champions Spain in a friendly international at FNB Stadium on Tuesday.
Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu says they can start talking about the 2014 World Cup finals if qualification is sealed on Tuesday against Egypt.
Source: Ahram online English
Beating Ghana? We could have thought of it in another time. But now everything is politics and the players have their minds also focused in politics, not in sports as it should be.
We saw the debate around (Ahmed) Abdel-Zaher after the CAF Champions League final, when he flashed the Rabaa four-fingered sign.
That is not a spirit in a team or even in a football environment seeking success.
- Alaa Rasmi, an accountant
I heard people and commentators say that the Ghanaians usedblack magic to affect our players and win the game. It may be true because I never saw the team playing that badly. We must be prepared to counter them if they’re trying to repeat the same thing in Egypt. I would like us to play a very good game and beat them, so we could regain a little of our self. Although I think five goals is difficult, especially that they are a very good team.
- Ahmed Abdallah, security guard
Yes, we can beat them but not with five goals. I don’t think any team — neither Barcelona themselves — can beat Ghana five zero now. The players themselves are being realistic about it and many of them announced it in public to avoid giving the fans any false hopes. But I believe they all want to correct their image, especially the ones who are quitting after the game, like Mohamed Abou-Treika and Wael Gomaa. I think a 2/3 zero win would be consoling and satisfying. We were eliminated after the 6-1 defeat. It is something that Ghana can’t repeat if they play us 100 times.
- Mohamed Farouk, technical engineering
Of course not. We cannot beat them 5-0. It will be a very contested game. I would say 60-40 percent. We will watch goals. The scoreline will be 2-1, maybe 3-2. What’s sure is that we will score goals but we will also concede some. We will be rushing out to attack and will have empty spaces at the back and with our slow defenders, it is sure that they will hit us on counters. If we want to have a comfortable win we need to be very concentrated and I didn’t see any team do that since Ahly in the final of the African Champions League against Esperance in 2012 (Ahly won 2-1 in Tunisia).
- Ahmed Khairi, factory worker
I can’t believe that there are many people who still believe we can make it to the World Cup. This is simply out of question; we are not going to play in Brazil. End of story!
- Samir Metwally, merchant
Call me crazy but I still believe we have good chances of beating Ghana and reaching the World Cup. We suffered a crashing defeat in Kumasi, in a very unusual day, and we want to prove it wrong. We still have 90 minutes and it will be eleven against eleven on the pitch.
- Mahmoud El-Khatib, former Egypt and Ahly player
Winning the match is very important, not because we will reach the World Cup, but in order to restore pride after the first-leg defeat. The match in Kumasi doesn’t reflect the real standard of Egyptian players, who were not at all lucky that day.
Ghana are a strong and perfect team with a lot of high-quality European-based players.
- Hassan El-Mestekawy, sports editor
The return leg will just be an occasion for the national team to take revenge after their defeat, but it won’t be an obstacle in Ghana’s path to the World Cup
- Egypt assistant coach Diaa Al-Sayed
Ghanaian Ibrahim Tanko chalked his biggest success as a coach by helping Cameroon qualify for the 2014 World Cup finals on Sunday afternoon.
The former Borrusia Dortmund striker is assistant coach to Volker Finke as the Indomitable Lions secured their seventh finals qualification berth.
Bob Bradley will lead Egypt in a competitive game for the first time in Cairo when the Pharaohs host Ghana in the second leg of the World Cup playoff in what could be his final match in charge of the Pharaohs.
The American coach said he was happy his team are back to their traditional venue before their enthusiastic supporters, who have been banned from attending most of Egypt’s games in their World Cup qualifying campaign due to lingering security concerns.
In an usual long presser, Bradley seemed to be sending a farewell message as his spell draws to a close, with Egypt likely to miss out on a place at next year’s World Cup finals in Brazil, having suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat by Ghana in the first leg in Kumasi.
“I am proud of the two years I spent in Egypt. I thank all Egyptians for their way of dealing with us in Egypt as I and my wife are always welcomed in the country,” he said.
“I enjoyed working with the current technical staff, including [assistant coach] Diaa El-Sayed and [goalkeeping coach] Zaki Abdel-Fattah. These are my brothers,” he added before naming all the technical staff members in a sign of recognition
“I also thanks the players for supporting me throughout the last two years I spent in Egypt,” he added.
Bradley, who took the charge of Egypt in November 2011, was burdened with the task of realizing the team’s long-held dream of reaching the World Cup for the first time since 1990.
The Pharaohs face Ghana on Tuesday at the army-owned Air Defence stadium, located in Cairo’s Fifth Settlement.
Egypt have a mountain to climb, as they need a five-goal margin victory against Ghana to make to the World Cup finals or at least secure an aggregate draw.
“I could feel the players were not in the right frame of mind before the game. We made a couple of small mistakes at the beginning and the players became more nervous. That is my responsibility too but I told the players that they did their best,” Bradley commented.
“I asked them to concentrate in coming game as we still have another 90 minutes in Egypt. Ninety minutes in Kumasi don’t change our efforts all over the past two years,” he said
“In the second leg we should play fast football so we must have 11 ready players as well as the substitutes.”
Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu feels it’s too early to start discussing the Black Stars’ chances in Brazil next summer while qualification has not yet been fully secured.
The 22-year-old missed Ghana’s campaign at the 2010 mundial due to injury but is primed to play a major role should the Black Stars qualify for their third straight appearance.
Ghana gave their qualification hopes the brightest chance when they hammered Egypt 6-1in the first leg in Kumasi last month.
Though Ghana look favourites to qualify as the Pharaohs are unlikely to be able to overturn the huge margin, Badu feels the time is not right to think about Brazil yet.
“We still have this game to play and qualify. We should wait till we qualify for the tournament,” he said.
Ghana will qualify for their third straight appearance at the World Cup if they beat Egypt on aggregate on Tuesday – they played at the 2006 and 2010 events.
Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu is urging Ghanaian fans to firm up and support the Black Stars while they seek to secure a ticket to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer.
Ghana will become the last country to qualify from the African continent if they are able to beat North African giants – Egypts on aggregate on Tuesday in Cairo.
The Black Stars go into Tuesday’s second-leg clash with a great superiority and in firm stance to claim a berth in Rio after hammering the Pharaohs 6-1 in Kumasi last month.
Ghana recorded one of the heaviest fan attendance during the first-leg in Kumasi and Badu who is based in Italy wants local fans to get behind the team on Tuesday.
“It is going to be a tight game for us but I believe we can sail through through. All we need is support from Ghanaians. They must keep supporting us and pray for us,” he said.
Badu came off the bench in the first-leg and nearly got on the score-sheet but he drive was palmed to corner by the Egyptian substitute keeper.
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Coach Akwasi Appiah has refused to claim all the glory as Ghana stand on the brink of a third successive World Cup qualification.
The Black Stars are in the most comfortable position going into the second-leg of the playoffs for next year’s tournament in Brazil with a commanding 6-1 lead against Egypt.
Ghana be facing the record African Cup winners knowing they have very little to do to seal qualification to a third successive World Cup.
The Black Stars have been highly impressive throughout the qualifying series – losing just once against Zambia while blowing teams on their path away.
Egypt had not lost a single game in the series until being dished their heaviest competitive defeat by the Black Stars in last month’s first leg encounter.
Praises have since been flooding in the direction of coach Appiah who came under intense pressure after the team’s disappointing finish at the 2013 Nations Cup in South Africa.
And even though the job is not yet done, the general feeling is that Ghana will certainly be one of the five African teams at the World Cup in Brazil.
Appiah has however refused to revel in the glory by insisting anyone given a similar chance will excel with the team.
“For me the most important thing is the nation,” Appiah said.
“I’m not looking at myself; I’m looking at Ghana qualifying for the World Cup.
“Fine it’s good that a Ghanaian has been given an opportunity, but the good thing about it is that I believe if any human being is given an opportunity to perform, and you do the best that’s within you you can achieve results.
“But it also goes down to the fact that a black man can also achieve something for the nation.”
The Ghana team is expected in Cairo on Monday to finalize their preparations towards the November 19 clash at the Air Defence Stadium.
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Ghanaian defender Sam Mensah was awarded the Best Player of the Season for second tier Swedish club Ostersunds FK on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old played a total of 27 games to help his club’s survival in the Superettan.
Mensah who played most of the games this season at right-back was adjudged the best player of the season following his sterling performance in the season that saw Ostersunds finish 10th.
The defender who played most of his youth football in the UK while schooling is delighted to claim his first personal award in his football career.
“I feel great and happy for my first professional award and want to thank my wife for her support, my teammates, the staffs and all the fans of OFK for believing in me,” Mensah told GHANAsoccernet.com.
The Right to Dream Academy graduate will now be heading towards his native Ghana for holidays after a long season in Europe.
The Egyptian fans will be allowed into the Air Defence Stadium in their numbers for the second-leg World Cup playoff against Ghana on Tuesday.
This is contrary to earlier reports that only a limited number will be permitted entry for the game being played in the Egyptian capital.
This means the Air Defence Stadium will be filled to capacity when the Black Stars arrive for the return encounter in the World Cup playoff against the Pharaohs.
The Egyptian authorities have however doubled security personnel at the match venue to ensure the game goes ahead without any hitch.
“I don’t know where that report [about limited fans] came from,” Ghana’s ambassador in Egypt Alhaji Said Sinare told Metro FM.
“The stadium will be packed, that you can expect.
“However we are being told that 5000 security personnel will be deployed to provide security throughout the match.
“The huge numbers expected on Tuesday need to be managed well and I believe it is the reason for the increased number of security personnel for the match.”
The Black Stars will be accorded full and detailed protection once they arrive in Cairo on Monday.
The other members of the Ghanaian delegation – officials, supporters and the media – will also be accorded similar privileges before, during and after the game on Tuesday.
Ghana carry a healthy 6-1 lead into the second-leg clash of the ultimate qualifier for next year’s World Cup to be staged in Brazil.
Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan has warned his teammates not to take their five goal lead for granted in Tuesday’s World Cup playoff return leg against Egypt in Cairo.
The Al Ain marksman wants the Black Stars to approach the decisive tie by the scruff of the neck and seal a third successive World Cup finals qualification berth.
Ghana go into the match at the Air Defence Stadium with a healthy 6-1 wins chalked at Baba Yara Stadium last month.
“We’re desperate to get back to the World Cup, but we have to make sure we do things in the right way in the second leg,” Gyan said.
“It’s football, so anything can happen.
“We’re in a comfortable position right now, but we need to totally focus on our job and make sure we do what we have to do to reach Brazil. We have to do things the right way in Cairo.”
Gyan scored two goals against the Pharaohs in the corresponding match.
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu says the Black Stars are only focused on improving their game and not worried about that of Egypt ahead of the second-leg World Cup playoff on Tuesday.
Ghana go into the return encounter being played in Cairo boasting a commanding 6-1 advantage.
The Pharaohs are however expected to present a much stiffer opposition in Tuesday’s clash to win back some love from their fans.
Coach Bob Bradley has also gone about his duties this term much quietly as he looks to correct the many wrongs that plagued his side in the first leg in Kumasi.
But Ghana midfielder Agyemang-Badu insists the Black Stars are not bothering themselves with whichever improvements being made to the Pharaohs team.
“We are not looking at what they [Egypt] are doing,” the Udinese star said.
“We are just taking our training sessions seriously and map out a strategy to meet them because we are playing an away game.
“But I am 100 percent sure that with the quality and the commitment in camp we are going to deliver next week Tuesday.”
The Black Stars team will be rounding up their preparations in Istanbul on Sunday before flying into Cairo on Monday.
The team will hold their one and only training sessions at the match’s venue – Air Defence Stadium – on Monday evening ahead of the game on Tuesday.
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has sent a congratulatory message to Stephen Keshi for qualifying Nigeria to next year’s FIFA World Cup finals.
The Super Eagles beat Ethiopia 2-0 in Calabar on Saturday to seal a 4-1 aggregate win in the playoffs.
Nigeria became the first African country to confirm their ticket for Brazil 2014.
Keshi has become the first African coach to send two countries to the FIFA World Cup finals after masterminding Togo’s historic qualification in 2006.
“Congratulations to them[Nigeria]. They have done well,” Appiah said.
“He’s my friend, [Stephen] Keshi. We have always been in touch and I am really happy for them. We have become very close friends and we talk on so many issues.”
Appiah will be seeking to emulate Keshi’s feat when he leads the Black Stars to face Egypt on Tuesday in Cairo with a 6-1 win from the first leg.