Cameroon will be looking for a second win in the defence of their AFCON title, but Ghana are upbeat over their own chances.
Kwesi Appiah has declared Ghana can finally end their wait for a victory over Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations in Ismailia on Saturday.
Ghana have failed to beat the reigning champions in their four previous meetings in the tournament’s history, including a 2-0 reverse at the semi-final stage two years ago.
Now they go up against each other again in Group F of the 2019 event, with Cameroon already leading the way in the table after opening their title defence with a 2-0 triumph over Guinea-Bissau.
As for the Black Stars, they were held to a 2-2 draw by Benin in a game that saw them play the majority of the second half with 10 men following the dismissal of defender John Boye.
However, despite only picking up a point from their first outing, coach Appiah is full of confidence that his team can upset the Indomitable Lions.
“We are going to give Cameroon a really good game and I am sure we will emerge victorious,” he said on the eve of the fixture.
Brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew grabbed the goals against Benin, though the former is an injury doubt after sitting out training on Thursday. Midfielder Thomas Agyepong, meanwhile, has been ruled out.
— Ghana Football Association (@ghanafaofficial) June 27, 2019
“The Ghana game is crucial in qualifying to the next stage,” midfielder Georges Mandjeck told the media. “We can win and we’ll do our best.
“The coach gave us midfielders advice on how to go about our mission against Ghana.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cameroon – Yaya Banana
The five-time winners were not at their fluent best against Guinea-Bissau – hardly surprising after a pre-tournament pay dispute – but Banana’s opener put them on course for victory. While goals may not be part of his remit, the defender should expect to be kept busy by Ghana’s forwards.
Ghana – Jordan Ayew
If Andre Ayew is absent from the starting XI, even more responsibility will sit on the shoulders of his younger sibling. Jordan’s 42nd-minute strike put his country 2-1 ahead against Benin, though they were unable to retain their advantage in the second half.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Cameroon have won their last two AFCON games against Ghana and are unbeaten in the competition against the Black Stars (W2 D2).
– Cameroon are unbeaten in their last seven games in the Africa Cup of Nations (W4 D3), their longest run since February 2000 – February 2004 (12 games) when they won the 2000 and 2002 tournaments.
– Ghana have won only one of their last five AFCON games (D1 L3) after winning six of their previous seven (D1).
– The Ayew brothers have been involved in 12 of Ghana’s last 16 goals in the Africa Cup of Nations (9 goals, 3 assists).