Sports News of Wed, 23 Aug 20170
My focus is on 2018 World Cup - Kwesi Appiah
The Black Stars coach, Kwasi Appiah, has put the CHAN fiasco behind him and is focused on winning the remaining four FIFA World Cup qualifiers to brighten Ghana’s Russia 2018 chances.
Instead of brooding over the past, Coach Appiah said he was concentrating on assembling the best players currently for Ghana’s upcoming qualifier against Congo in Kumasi next week Friday, September 1.
“It’s important to concentrate on the World Cup matches now. We have to do all we can to win all our matches and see what happens,” he told the Graphic Sports in an exclusive interview yesterday.
He hinted that the Stars would move straight to camp in Kumasi on Sunday, since there was very limited time to prepare for the crucial Group E qualifier.
According to him, he had at his disposal a list of 30 players from which to select a formidable squad to face the Congolese. He would, however, not mention any names despite hinting that a few debutantes could be expected this time round.
“I believe we should give a chance to other players to come in and prove what they can do for their nation just like the four players did against Ethiopia in the last game,” he noted.
“It’s always important to see others who are doing well for their clubs,” he added.
Typical of Coach Appiah, he featured debutants Raphael Dwamena, Thomas Agyepong, Lumor Agbenyenu and Ebenezer Ofori in the starting line-up against Ethiopia in the last AFCON qualifier in Kumasi on June 11 and they all excelled in the Stars’ massive 5-0 victory.
And only last month, the Stars coach embarked on a two-week monitoring tour of the US to familiarise himself with the Ghanaian players plying their trade in the Major League Soccer (MLS).
Coach Appiah took over a Ghana side which occupies the third position in Group E with one point, behind Egypt (6 points) and Uganda (4 points), while Congo are bottom with no point.
Interestingly, Uganda will play host to the Pharaohs at the Mandela National Stadium in Kampala on Thursday, August 31, before Ghana host Congo at the Baba Yara Stadium the following day.