2023 AFCON: Ghana v Mozambique preview
Group B in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) is set to conclude this week, and tonight, the Black Stars of Ghana aim to keep their hopes of qualification alive as they face Mozambique at Stade Olympique Alassane Ouattara, with kick-off scheduled for 20:00 GMT.
Currently, Ghana finds themselves in a precarious position, sitting in third place in the group with just one point, sharing the same standing as their upcoming opponents, who are at the bottom of the group.
Mozambique, making a return to AFCON after a 12-year absence, is facing similar qualification requirements as Ghana. However, their historical performance in the group stage has been challenging, having never won a match in this phase of the competition. Over five tournaments, they’ve lost 12 matches and drawn two.
Furthermore, Mozambique has struggled defensively in AFCON, never managing to keep a clean sheet and conceding a total of 31 goals in 14 matches. If they fail to keep a clean sheet in their upcoming match, they will join Zimbabwe as the teams that have gone the longest period without achieving this feat in the competition.
Ghana, on the other hand, is determined to avoid a second consecutive group-stage exit. In their opening match, they suffered a 3-0 defeat to group leaders Cape Verde, putting them under early pressure. Despite showing improvement in the second match against Egypt, where they secured a draw, Ghana is on a six-game winless streak, their longest in AFCON history.
A victory against Mozambique is crucial for Ghana, but it won’t guarantee automatic qualification if Egypt defeats Cape Verde in the other match. However, securing four points should likely place them as one of the best third-placed teams.
In terms of player dynamics, Mozambique’s Lau King and Domingues, introduced during their last match, will be competing for starting positions. Coach Chiquinho Conde has also experimented with the formation, using Atletico Madrid’s Reinildo in a back three.
Ghana’s Mohammed Kudus, who missed the opening match due to injury, made a significant impact in the second match against Egypt with two goals. The Black Stars, with no current injury concerns, might consider veteran Andre Ayew to strengthen their attack after he remained an unused substitute in the last match.
Mozambique’s possible starting lineup:
Ernani, Mandava, Dove, Mexer, Macandza, Guima, Amade, Witi, Bauque, Gildo, Ratifio
Ghana’s possible starting lineup:
Ofori, Odoi, Djiku, Salisu, Mensah, Ashimeru, Paintsil, Konigsdorffer, Ayew, Kudus, Williams
Where will the game be played?
The game will be staged at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium
What is the kick-off time?
The game has been scheduled to kick off at 20:00GMT
Ghana 2-0 Mozambique