Empire Sport : AFCON 2017 GHANA VS UGANDA PREVIEW

AFCON 2017 GHANA VS UGANDA PREVIEW

Compiled by Michael Asare Boadu, Empire FM, Sports Desk.

GHANA’S OPENING MATCHES AT THE AFCON…

1963-Ghana 1-1 Tunisia
1965-Ghana 5-2 DR Congo
1968-Ghana 2-2 Senegal
1970-Ghana 2-0 Congo Kinshasa
1978-Ghana 2-1 Zambia
1980-Ghana 0-0 Algeria
1982-Libya 2-2 Ghana
1984-Ghana 1-2 Nigeria
1992-Ghana 1-0 Zambia (D)
1994-Ghana 1-0 Guinea (D)
1996-Ghana 2-0 Ivory Coast (D)
1998-Ghana 2-0 Tunisia
2000-Ghana 1-1 Cameroon
2002-Morocco 0-0 Ghana
2006-Nigeria 1-0 Ghana (D)
2008-Ghana 2-1 Guinea
2010-Ivory Coast 3-1 Ghana
2012-Ghana 1-0 Botswana (D)
2013-Ghana 2-2 DR Congo
2015-Ghana 1-2 Senegal

Wins: 9
Draws: 7
Loss: 4 ( Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal)

Ghana has failed to score in the opening game thrice…vs Nigeria in 2006, Morocco in 2002 and Algeria in 1980.

The Black Stars have kept 8 clean sheets in the 21 opening group matches played at the AFCON.

Ghana has been in Group D 5 times previously…with a record of 4 wins and 1 loss in their opening group matches.
W-4
L-1

The last time Ghana ended up in Group D, they won their opening game 1-0 against Botswana.
UGANDA OPENING MATCHES AT THE AFCON:

1962-UAR (Egypt) 2-1 Uganda
1968-Ethiopia 2-1 Uganda
1974-Egypt 2-1 Uganda
1976-Ethiopia 2-0 Uganda
1978-Uganda 3-1 Congo Brazzaville
Total-5
W-1
L-4

Uganda has never kept a clean sheet in their 5 opening group games played at the AFCON.
GHANA- 21st AFCON appearance..only bettered by Egypt (23) and Ivory Coast (22).

Ghana will play her 90th match at the AFCON and will momentarily equal Egypt.

The Pharaohs will play game 91 in the other Group D encounter against Mali making them the team to play the most matches in the competition.

Ghana has 50 wins at the AFCON. Egypt leads with 51 wins of the 35 nations that have participated at the AFCON.

In all there have been 1224 matches played at the AFCON after yesterday’s Group C games.

Of the 89 games, Ghana has played at the AFCON…the record stands at 50 wins, 17 draws and 22 losses.

The Black Stars have scored 121 goals in this period while conceding 74.

Retired Ghana attacker Osei Kofi and current skipper of the team Asamoah Gyan are the country’s top scorers at the AFCON with 7 goals each.

Gyan can set a new record with a goal against Uganda which will take his overall tally to 8.

Ghana’s Andre Ayew is level with his dad, Abedi Pele on 6 goals at the AFCON same as former player George Alhassan and Wilberforce Mfum.

Wakaso Mubarak has 5 goals and is third on Ghana’s top scorers list in the AFCON.
UGANDA- 6th APPEARANCE

The Cranes have played 16 MATCHES AT THE AFCON.

Their record stands at just 3 wins, 12 defeats and 1 draw. They have scored 17 goals and conceded 31.

Their best AFCON finish was in 1978 when they finished 2nd after losing the final to Ghana.

Their last game at the AFCON was against Ghana some 14,188 days ago. They got beaten in the 1978 AFCON final in Accra by 2-0 with goals from Opoku Afriyie.

Uganda has never participated at the AFCON since…and interestingly they meet Ghana once again on their return.

ANOTHER fact is that none of the current Uganda players were born when they last played at the AFCON.

HEAD TO HEAD…
In 13 matches Ghana has an advantage of 6 wins against Uganda…

The Cranes have beaten Ghana thrice with the remaining 4 games ending in draws.

Ghana has however failed to beat Uganda in their last 3 attempts (D2 L1) with their last win against the Cranes coming in May 2009.

The only meeting in the Africa Cup of Nations came in 1978 when Ghana won 2-0.

However, Failure to beat Uganda in the qualifiers led to Ghana missing out on the AFCON 2004.

Uganda’s last win against Ghana came in a 1-0 home win in Nov 2014 with Sadio Kabugo scoring in the 10th minute
THE COACHES:

The two coaches, Avram Grant and Milutin Sredojevic have met once and that was in a world cup 2018 qualifier at the Tamale Sports Stadium.

The game ended in a disappointing goalless draw, a result many believe can scupper Ghana’s chances of qualifying for the Mundial.

Grant will be in charge of his 7th AFCON match as Black Stars coach.

His side has managed consecutive clean sheets in their last 3 AFCON matches.

Ghana 3-0 Guinea
Ghana 3-0 Equatorial Guinea
Ghana 0-0 Ivory Coast (8-9 PSO)

Grants overall AFCON record is
4 wins
1 draw
1 loss

He is unbeaten in his last 5 AFCON games after losing the opening group match in 2015 against Senegal by 2-1.

Uganda’s head Coach Milutin Sredojevic will be making his AFCON bow.

He has a record of 27 wins, 9 draws and 9 defeats in 45 matches.

THE REFEREE:

38 year old Botswana referee Joshua Bondo will handle Ghana’s opening fixture at the 2017 AFCON against the Cranes of Uganda in the Group D opener.

Joshua Bondo will make history be becoming the first referee from Botswana to handle a game at the Africa Cup of Nations.

He will be assisted by Algerian Abdelhak Etchiali and Olivier Safari of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

WHO IS REFEREE BONDO?

Born on Saturday February 25, 1978 (20 days before Ghana’s conquest of Uganda in the 1978 AFCON final), Joshua Bondo has grown to become one of the continent’s key referees.

Bondo hails from Senete, a village in the Central District of Botswana which is close to the border with Zimbabwe.

He has been an international referee since 2006.

Joshua Bondo was voted the best referee in the Botswana Mascom Premier League for the 2007/08 season.

He started as a football player for Hartlepool FC in the third division of the Selebi-Phikwe region, Botswana.

In a 2001 game he got annoyed with the match referee and decided to quit playing football.

This incident is believed to have inspired his decision to become a referee himself.

Bondo is the first Botswana referee to officiate at the Africa Cup of Nations.

He has officiated 58 international games. In these matches Bondo has shown a total of 153 yellow cards, 3 red cards and has awarded 8 penalties.

He was in charge of Ghana’s COSAFA Cup quarter final clash with Madagascar in 2015.

Madagascar beat the local Black Stars on that occasion by 2-1.

THE ACTION…

The match kicks off at 4pm GMT and there will be live commentary on Empire 102.7 FM.

Join the Empire FM Sports Crew at the Champs Sports Bar, Chapel Hill, Takoradi for more of these and live commentary starting 3:30pm.

Compiled by Michael Asare Boadu
Empire FM Sports Desk