Sports News of Tue, 22 Aug 20177
Ghana can still qualify for 2018 World Cup - Kwesi Appiah
Ghana Coach James Kwesi Appiah believes Ghana still has a chance of qualifying for next year’s World Cup despite failing to record a win in the first two opening games of the qualifiers.
Appiah who qualified the Black Stars for the 2014 Mundial in Brazil knows full well that repeating the feat this time round will be a tough task, admitting as much to FIFA.com in an exclusive interview.
“We’re sitting on one point, while Egypt have got six,” he said. “However, we’re going to try to win our upcoming matches and leapfrog them.”
The Black Stars next assignment consists of a couple of games in close succession against Congo, who are propping up the table after two matchdays., therefore, represents a golden opportunity for Appiah’s men to make up ground on Egypt, who themselves face a double header against second-placed Uganda, although the coach was adamant that the basement boys will prove no pushover:
Appiah said “Congo have a good team. Nobody in this group can be taken lightly; on the contrary, we have to approach every match in the same manner, with the same desire.”
“Every team has played two matches, so we’ve got four games left each and 12 points to play for. Anything is still possible, so long as we keep working hard and we perform well. We’ll have to see what happens, but I think anyone in the group can still qualify.”
“I’m satisfied with the squad at my disposal. I just want to help them compete better in the remainder of the qualifying campaign and beyond. We have some young players in the team and we’ve got to ensure they kick on in the future.”
The 57-year-old former Ghana international also revealed his plan for Ghana ahead of the 2029 Nations Cup tournament which will be held in Cameroun.
“Ghana were knocked out in the semi-finals of the 2017 AFCON, but it was a creditable showing. We’ve got to try to build on that, refine our game and bring through new players. With regard to the next edition, which is two years away, for starters we’re just going to try to qualify and then we’ll take it from there.”