In about forty-three (43) days, the greatest football competition in the world will kick off. Thus, FIFA world cup Qatar 22 edition. Meanwhile, Ghana has about 46 days to play her first game. Ghana did not have a smooth ride on qualifying to the world cup, which clearly depicted that; they are putting in their all during the qualification just as any other nation.

They made their debut appearance at the world showpiece in 2006, putting up a good show as debutants by qualifying to the round 16 stage where they got kicked out by world football powerhouse, Brazil. They went on to wow the world in the next edition held in South Africa 2010, by getting to the quarter finals. In that tournament, but for a Luiz Suarez handball and a missed spot kick from Asamoah Gyan in the dying minutes, Ghana would have made a record semi final appearance.

On the 3rd consecutive appearance, the country took part in the -Brazil 2014- tournament which unfortunately did not go well as expected. A group stage exit befell the West African nation as a result of poor performance on the pitch and other unpleasant behind-the-scenes camp factors. With missing out on the Russia 2018 edition and now making a return to the international event, the question that pops up is, “What are Ghana’s chances of coming out of her group stages to the knock out stages?


Ghana kick started her campaign on home soil in Cape Coast against Ethiopia on September 3, 2021. A 35th minute goal from Mubarak Wakaso clinched the full 3 points for Ghana. C.K. Akonnor’s side went on to suffer their first defeat of the qualifying round to South Africa, 3 days after playing Ethiopia. The bafana bafana boys handed Ghana a 1-0 defeat in Johannesburg. A game where South Africa had the upper hand over Ghana and  was seen with  their dominance  in most areas of the game including ball possession (54-46), goal attempts (7-2) and shots on goal (1-0).

However, Ghana consequently bounced back with a double win over Zimbabwe. The first leg which was played in Cape Coast saw 3 key spine of the national team write their names on the score sheet. Kudus Mohammed on the 5’ minute, assistant captain Thomas Partey on the 66’ minute and the skipper Andre Ayew on the 87’ minute all scored to grant Ghana that astounding win. Zimbabwe’s major highlight of the game was a 49’ minute penalty converted by Knowledge Musona. The black stars climaxed their two legged encounter versus Zimbabwe with a 1-0 win in Harare. This time around, Thomas Partey’s strike handed Ghana that win.

At this point, Ghana’s chances of qualifying to the play-offs kept increasing game by game. Ghana just needed to win each of their next matches to give them the huge boost of sailing through to the next round; however such a smooth sail was not accomplished. Ethiopia held the black stars to a 1-1 draw.

This made the battle for who to grab the only spot to the play offs travel to the last game between Ghana and South Africa. Interestingly, each of these two nations had the chance of making it to the next stage. Ghana was trailing South Africa to 3 points and needed to win badly by just a goal margin in order to seal their qualification.

That game was played right in Ghana at the Cape Coast stadium and Ghana grabbed their home advantage to win the game. Andre Ayew’s 33rd minute penalty was the only goal in the game and it did justice for the black stars.

At the draw to the play offs, Ghana was drawn against Nigeria. The game was a rekindle of old rivalry which is likely to never end. In all parts of the two countries’ history, there seems to be a ‘beef’ between them as to who have the best ‘this’ , or who is the best in ‘that’. It spans from football to music, travelling to which country has the stronger currency and to even the best ‘jollof’.

The first match of this double encounter took place on March 25th, 2022. Ghana had just changed their out-of-nostalgia-appointed Serbian head coach; Milovan Rajevac, who led the nation to an abysmal performance in the then, just ended AFCON held in January – February, 2022.

This time around, Borussia Dortmund assistant coach Otto Addo, who happens to be a Ghanaian, was given the job. He led a technical team of himself; Aston Villa youth coach George Boateng and former Kotoko coach Mas-Ud Didi Dramani. This team was being technically advised by former Brighton manager, Chris Hughton. These technical brains looked well stacked on paper and they truly transcended it onto the field.

The 40,000 Baba Yara Sports stadium was filled to capacity – it is obvious that the nation misses a taste in action of the world showpiece since they missed out in Russia 2018 edition – as Ghanaians threw their full support towards the black stars. The Ghana team was able to get a point in this game by playing a goalless draw. At that point, it was a very positive result for the black stars simply because the Nigerian team appeared more confident and also their squad had been together for a long time, as compared to that of Ghana.

The return leg really drew many eyes around the world. The 60,000 MKO Abiola Stadium was full to capacity and over millions around the world watched behind their screens from their homes. Troost-Ekong’s 22nd minute penalty equalized Thomas Partey’s powerful outside-the-box drive which found the back of the net in the 10th minute. The game ended this way and Ghana qualified by reason of the away goal rule.


Ghana qualified by topping their group, being locked on 13 points with South Africa. During this round of the qualifiers, the black stars scored a total of 7 goals, being the team to score most goals in their group and also had more than half of the goals scored by the rest of the teams combined (12). Ghana happened to concede 3 goals throughout this stage of the qualifiers. Being the second team to concede the least goals, South Africa emerged as the first team to concede the least goals (2). The last round of qualifiers saw Ghana registering 1 goal and conceding 1.

Four players in total contributed to the 8 goals that Ghana scored during the whole qualification process. Andre Ayew and Thomas partey both got 3 goals each, Mohammed Kudus and Mubarak Wakaso also got 1 goal each. Out of these 4 players, 3 of them have been really active in club football over recent years. Thus Andre Ayew who currently plays for Al-Sadd in Qatar, Thomas Partey playing for London side Arsenal and Mohammed Kudus who has had a bright start to the season for Ajax in the Eredivisie. Meanwhile, Wakaso got inactive after leaving Shenzen FC in 2021. It’s recently that he has been signed by KAS Eupen in the Belgium Jupiler Pro League.


Ghana has been drawn in group H with Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea as opponents. Portugal, who Ghana plays their first opening game, has been on good scoring form throughout the qualifiers. They scored 22 goals in 10 games, conceding 7.

Uruguay played a total of 18 games throughout their qualifications. They scored a whooping 22 goals in that campaign but unfortunately managed to concede the same number of goals they scored, 22.

Ghana’s Asian opponents, South Korea also scored 22 goals and conceded only 1 goal in 6 games, which was their first phase of qualifications. In their second phase, they scored 13 and conceded 3 in 10 games. In total, they scored 35 goals and conceded 4 goals in 16 games. This was enough to send them to Qatar as they placed 2nd in a group of 6 nations after the second phase of qualifications.


A concern which will certainly be raised by readers of this piece is how Ghana will be able to compete with these nations. Ronaldo, coupled with Jota made 14 goal contributions in the qualification process, thus 7 each. Two Manchester boys, Bruno Fernandez of United and Benardo Silva of City and also got locked on 5 goal contribution each for their nation.

Uruguay also got their 2010 quarter finals hero; Luiz Suarez, lead the goal contribution list with 8 goal involvement in the qualifiers, followed by Flamengo’s Giorgian De Arrascaeta with 6. They also got some attacking options who have been quite decent (not so bad) over the few years; Darwin Nunez, Diego Rossi, Martin Satriano.

Son Heung-Min showed great leadership as a captain by leading goal contribution chart with 7. Wolverhampton’s Hwang He-Chang and Kim Shin-Wook of Lion City Stallions in Singapore contributed 6 goals and assist each to the fire powering. Lee Jae-Sung of Mainz 05 also got 5 goal contributions to help his country qualify.


Comparing Ghana to these countries, it clearly shows they are high scoring nations than Ghana. With Ghana also being the lowest ranked nation amongst all the Qatar 2022 participating nations (61st), how will Ghana fare at the world showpiece?

With new entrants being let into the blackstars squad, will Ghana improve upon their not-too-good performances, or it will be the same old blackstars ‘comedy show’ we will be watching?