The Black Stars of Ghana will continue their World Cup qualifier against the Warriors of Zimbabwe on 9th October 2021 at the Cape Coast sports stadium then the return leg three days later at Harare.
The Black Stars are second in Group G with three points after beating Ethiopia 1-0 at home and losing to South Africa 1-0 at the FNB stadium in South Africa. The Warriors of Zimbabwe are also last on the log in Group G with just a point. They drew goalless with South Africa at home and lost to Ethiopia by a goal at Addis Ababa.
Change of Head Coaches
Both countries will have a new coach in the dugout when they face each other in the two-legged encounter. Zdravko Logarusic was sacked after picking just a point in their two games against South Africa and Ethiopia. Former national team player, Norman Mapeza has been appointed as the man to take charge of the Warriors.
Mapeza, a former head coach of Chippa United in South Africa, has taken over on an interim basis. The 49-year-old will be in charge until the end of the year on a three-month contract, which will see him doubling with his current club role as head coach of Zimbabwean Premier League outfit FC Platinum.
Charles Akonnor was also shown the exit door after Ghana lost to South Africa at the FNB stadium. Former head coach of the Black Stars, Milovan Rajevac has been reappointed to take charge of the rest of the World Cup qualifiers. He was the previous Ghana manager from the year 2008 until 2010, which included the World Cup in South Africa. Rajevac previously worked in Qatar, Algeria and Thailand.
Head to Head
The two countries have met six times in all competitions with the Stars beating the Warriors three times. Two games have ended in a draw while the Stars have lost just a game.
The lost came in the 2006 AFCON Group D game. The full time score was 2-1. The first two meetings ended in a draw with the first game ending in 1-1 draw on 9th January 1996. The second game ended in 0-0 draw on 26 January 1997. The first win (2-1) for the Stars happened on 13th July 1997 at the Accra Sports Stadium in the 1998 AFCON qualifier. The second win (4-1) came on 8th October 2000 while the last win (2-1) happened on 3rd June 2001 in an AFCON Qualifier.
Both teams have been competitive in the last 2 years, engaging in qualifiers and international friendlies. The quarter finalist in the 2010 World Cup, Ghana has just won two games in their last seven games. The wins came against Sao Tome and Principe in an AFCON qualifier and Ethiopia in the World Cup Qualifier. They recently lost to South Africa in their last game. They also lost to Sudan and Morocco in an international friendly with the two draws coming against South Africa and Ivory Coast. The Stars have scored five goals and conceded five during this period of games.
Zimbabwe in their last games have not won any. They have lost 3 and drew 2 games. The defeats came from Namibia (2-0), Zimbabwe (2-1) and recently to Ethiopia (1-0). The draws came against Malawi (2-2) and South Africa (0-0)
Players to watch
Ghana Coach Milovan Rajevac has named a 32-man provisional squad for next month’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 qualifiers against Zimbabwe. The man who was unveiled as Ghana Coach on Friday, September 24, 2021, is preparing for a second bow against the Warriors of Zimbabwe next month. The list includes Swindon Town FC goalkeeper Jojo Wallocott – a 26 year old shot stopper who has been given his first International call up.
Asante Kotoko youngster Danlad Ibrahim makes a return to the squad while Arsenal stalwart Thomas Partey who missed the games against Ethiopia and South Africa returns after recovering from an ankle injury that kept him out of action for the opening stages of the new season. Another returnee is Ajax Amsterdam star Mohammed Kudus.
Turkey based forward Benjamin Tetteh who plays for Yeni Malatyaspor has also been handed a call up by the Serbian tactician.
The list excludes some players former coach CK Akonnor called in his last call up. Goalkeepers, Richard Ofori and Abdul Manaf Nurudeen who are out with injuries. Hearts of Oak duo, Fatawu Mohammed and Daniel Afriyie Barnieh were also excluded while Kwame Opoku and Braydon Manu were not called.
Head coach for Zimbabwe, Norman Mapeza has also named players for thr double leg encounter. The players include Khama Billiat (Kaizer Chiefs), Perfect Chikwende (Simba SC), Knowledge Musona(Al-Tai), Marvelous Nakamba (Aston Villa), Jordan Zemura (AFC Bournemouth), and Tendayi Darikwa (Wigan Athletic).