After an impressive run of three consecutive World Cup appearances (2006-2014) – including a quarter-final appearance in 2010, Ghana failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia and will be keen to make a quick return.
The Black Stars have since endured a tough spell, failing to reach expected standards in the 2019 African Cup of Nations (AFCON), as the team were knocked out in the round of 16 stage by Tunisia in a penalty shootout.
Ghana have since embarked on a redemption journey which has seen them book a qualification slot in the 2021 AFCON after topping Group C with 13 points from six games.
However, the most recent round of friendlies in June saw the Black Stars succumb to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Morocco, before they played out a goalless draw with Ivory Coast.
In Ghana’s bid to avoid another four years without an appearance at the World Cup, the four-time AFCON champions will be hopeful of getting off to a winning start on Friday, as they take on an Ethiopia side who only scraped through the first round to reach this stage.
Since that triumph, they have won five of 14 games in all competitions, beginning with a shocking 2-1 victory over Ivory Coast in an AFCON qualifier.
Wubetu Abate’s side qualified for next year’s AFCON tournament after finishing off 2020 with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over Niger, before returning to action in March with consecutive 4-0 victories, firstly defeating Malawi in a friendly before cruising past Mozambique in the qualifying group.
On the back of a 2-1 win over Uganda on Sunday, Ethiopia will hope to defy the odds and start with a victory in their attempt to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in their history.
Only 2,250 fans were admitted to the Cape Coast Sports Stadium for the game due to COVID-19
Starting line ups.
Ethiopia starting XI
Yared Bayeh Belay
3’ The Black Stars dominating possession at the moment
5’ The Ethiopians are warming themselves into the game with some possession
7’ Jordan Ayew has been fouled, free kick to the Black Stars but the resultant kick goes wide for a goal kick
12’ Andre Ayew with a chance but his header has been blocked
15’ Ghana 0-0 Ethiopia
22’ Nice turn by Andre Ayew into the opponents half but his strike has been blocked
25’ Jeffrey Schlupp injured, Daniel Kofi Kyereh will be replacing the Leicester City midfielder
30’ Ghana 0-0 Ethiopia
35’ Goal oooo Mubarak Wakaso breaks the deadlock
41’ Jordan Ayew has been fouled in the box but referee ignores calls for a penalty
We are doing one minute of additional time
45’ It’s Ghana 1-0 Ethiopia
Second half underway
46’ Jordan Ayew has been fouled and Ghana wins a free kick
Jordan Ayew’s kick has been saved by the goalkeeper
53’ A dangerous tackle on Daniel Kofi Kyereh and the Black Stars player rush on the referee to issue a red card
Mubarak Wakaso has been booked for decent
67’ CHANCE: Daniel Kofi Kyereh breaks on the counter and tries to find Dede Ayew for a tap in but the ball goes wide
72’ Yaw Yeboah with a long strike but the goalkeeper punches the ball for a rebound Andre Ayew strike blocked
75’ Dede Ayew injured
80’ It’ Ghana 1-0 Ethiopia
86’ Yaw Yeboah has been pushed in the box but referee whistles for play on ignore calls for a penalty
90’ We are doing three minute of additional time
It’s Ghana 1-0 Ethiopia
Referee whistles to end the game.