The stakes are high as Ghana takes on Tunisia in 1/16th stage
With seventeen 17 meetings between the Black Stars of Ghana and the Cartage Eagles of Tunisia in international friendlies and competitive matches, the stakes remain high as both countries seek to book a quarter final berth at the ongoing 2019 African cup of Nations (AFCON) in Egypt on Monday, July 8, at the Ismailia Stadium.
Ghana having won a majority of the games over old foes Tunisia with ten (10) wins, three (3) draws and four (4) loses, the Stars would seek to make their superiority count over the North Africans, but won’t come easy, though the Tunisians have had it tough by drawing all three group games to qualify behind Mali from Group E.
The Black Stars of Ghana secured top spot in Group F as they defeated Guinea-Bissau in their final group game to topple Cameroon by virtue of scoring a greater number of goals to book an all-important cracker against a struggling Tunisian team at the Ismailia Sports Stadium.
With Ghana peeking gradually, much would be needed from the experienced players like Captain Dede Ayew, Thomas Partey and Mubarak Wakaso in the heart of the midfield with speedsters Samuel Owusu and Thomas Agyepong on both flanks, with Jordan Ayew leading the attack as they aim to end the 37-year trophy drought.
Jordan, had risen to the occasion when it mattered most and same would be required from him as Coach Kwesi Appiah is expected to keep faith with the younger of the Ayew brothers.
The good news for Ghana would be the return of suspended players John Boye and Kassim Nuhu as Jonathan Mensah and Thomas Agyepong have both recovered fully from the injuries that kept them out of the Stars last games.
The Cartage Eagles, on the other hand, managed to sail through to the knock-out stage after earning a draw against Mauritania, being their third consecutive stalemate of the Africa Cup of Nations, qualifying with three points being the lowest total of any side to end up in second place.
Though they had had a patchy road to this point, the abilities and capabilities of the Tunisians cannot be underrated having realized how Benin knocked out Morocco in the round of 1/16th as Madagascar against all odds beat Nigeria to finish top of Group B.
With both sides not losing a game at the 32nd biennial competition, the stakes would be high, as Tunisia came into the tournament as the second-highest ranked side but have failed to live up to that hype and could be set for an earlier than expected exit with Ghana able to claim the victory here.