Ghana AFCON 2017: See All The Very Important Facts You Missed!


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Although the Black Stars once more failed to lift the Cup of Nations, it is indisputable that everything about Ghana AFCON 2017 was worth the while. You’ll agree with me after reading this:

On a general note; The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) is a continental men’s football tournament which is held biennially and organized by the Confederation of African Football (CAF). AFCON 2017 which was the 31st edition of the tournament was hosted by Gabon and sponsored by Total – exactly why it was named “Total Africa Cup of Nations, Gabon 2017”. Cameroon won the AFCON 2017 title, earning themselves a place in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup to be hosted in Russia.

Also See: Five Countries With The Most Wins in AFCON

Ghana AFCON 2017 -All You Need To Know

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Squad 

Coach Avram Grant compiled the list of a 23-man-squad who played in the just concluded tournament. The list which saw Ghana’s best players both home and Abroad included;

S/N Players Position Club
1 Ebenezer Assifuah Forward Sion
2 Andre Ayew Forward West Ham
3 Jordan Ayew Forward Swansea City
4 Asamoah Gyan Forward Al Ahli
5 Bernard Tekpetey Forward Schalke
6 Afriyie Acquah Midfielder Torino
7 Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu Midfielder Udinese
8 Daniel Amartey Midfielder Leicester City
9 Christian Atsu Midfielder New castle United
10 Edwin Gyimah Midfielder Orlando Pirates
11 Ebenezer Ofori Midfielder AIK Stockholm
12 Thomas Partey Midfielder Atletico Madrid
13 Samuel Tetteh Midfielder Leifering
14 Mubarak Wakaso Midfielder Panathinaikos
15 Harrison Afful Defender Columbus Crew
16 Frank Acheampong Defender Anderlecht
17 John Boye Defender Sivasspor
18 Jonathan Mensah Defender Columbus Crew
19 Baba Rahman Defender Schalke
20 Andy Yiadom Defender Barnsley
21 Fatau Dauda Goal Keeper Enyimba Fc
22 Richard Ofori Goal Keeper Wa All Stars
23 Razak Braimah Goal Keeper Cordoba

Schalke 04 forward, Bernard Tekpetey and AIK Stockholm midfielder, Ebenezer Ofori, made their first ever appearance at the AFCON in this year’s tournament. Meanwhile, Lorient striker, Abdul Majeed Waris, teenage striking sensation, Raphael Dwamena and Joseph Attamah missed out from the Ghana AFCON 2017 squad. Click here to find out more.

Qualifier and Group Stage

Ghana qualified for the AFCON 2017 alongside 15 other countries after emerging winner in the qualification Group H comprising Ghana, Mozambique, Rwanda and Mauritius.

The Black Stars were subsequently paired with the Cranes in a tough Group D comprising Ghana, Uganda, Egypt and Mali in the AFCON 2017 tournament. See full details here.

Ghana knocked out Uganda in a 1-0 clash at the group stage to make it to the quarter-finals. The lone goal that pushed the Black Stars to the next stage of the tournament was scored by the team’s deputy skipper, Andre Ayew through a penalty shot.

Christian Atsu who was at his best in the Ghana vs Ugand clash was named Man of the Match.

Quarter Finals

Ghana who clashed with Democratic Republic of Congo at the Stade d’Oyem on 29th January for the quarterfinals clash beat them 2-1 to grab a place in the semis.

Ghana reach AFCON semis
Ghana reach AFCON semis.

Ghana forward, Jordan Ayew scored 62nd minute into the second half of the game – an opening goal that moved him to tears. Although his goal was quickly equalized 7 minutes later, the Black Stars were awarded a penalty in the 77th minute, when Christian Atsu was kicked down on the penalty box. Andre Ayew seized the golden opportunity to convert the spot-kick, putting Ghana in the lead.

See: Ghanaians Hail Ayew Brothers As Black Stars Reach AFCON Semifinal

Semifinals and Third Place Play-off

The high hopes of reaching the AFCON finals was crashed after Cameroon beat Ghana 2-0 in the semi-final match held at the Stade de Franceville on Thursday, February 2nd.

Although the Black Stars started the match in command and fought it out with the Indomitable Lions all through the game, they were unable to earn a score.

With Burkina Faso and Ghana left off the finals, they fought for the third place finish on Saturday, February 4th with Burkina Faso beating Ghana 2-0.

Awards

Throughout the tournament, 3 Black Stars won the Man of the Match Award. They are:

  • Christian Atsu – Ghana 1-0 Uganda
  • Thomas Partey – Ghana 1-0  Mali
  • Jordan Pierre Ayew – Ghana 1-2 DR Congo

Injuries

Defender Baba Rahman sustained a serious injury in Ghana’s 1-0 win clash against Uganda on Tuesday, January 17. The 22-year-old left-back tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee; an injury that will reportedly take about seven months to heal, thereby costing him the rest of the tournament. Find out more about Baba Rahman’s injury.

Also, Black Stars Skipper, Asamoah Gyan was injured during Ghana’s 1-0 loss to Egypt in the final group D match. The injury had caused fans much anxiety as they feared the popular striker may not continue in the tournament. Although Gyan missed the game against DR Congo, the injury however turned out not to be a severe one as he was up about before Ghana’s clash with Cameroon.

Ghana AFCON 2017 Total Scores

For the entire AFCON 2017 tournament, Ghana earned four goals.

Scorer No. of Goals Match
Andre Ayew 2 Ghana vs Uganda; Ghana vs DR Congo
Jordan Ayew 1 Ghana vs DR Congo
Asamoah Gyan 1 Ghana vs Mali

Ghana won the Africa Cup of Nations title last in 1982; and since 2008, the team have reached the semifinals, but failed to lift the continent’s most prestigious prize. The team who finished as runners-up in the last AFCON tournament only managed to earn a fourth place in the 2017 AFCON.

What’s your take on Ghana AFCON 2017: Do you think their fate was a result of incompetence, or sheer ill-luck? Please, let’s have your views at the comment session below.