Cameroon vs Ghana (Ismailia Stadium, 18:00 CAT)
The second round of fixtures in Group E starts today with a clash of giants of the game in the continent at the Ismailia Stadium at 18:00 CAT.
With Nine AFCON trophies between them, Cameroon and Ghana meet today in a decisive game in Group F.
Five time winners and defending champions Cameroon had a walk in the park against Guinea-Bissau in their opening fixture with a comfortable 2-0. On their part, the Black Stars of Ghana were held to a 2-2 draw by a highly Spirited Benin after experienced defender John Boye received his matching orders at the 54th minute of the game.
Cameroon will clash with Ghana this evening at the Ismaila Stadium as both nations set out in search of maximum points so as to enhance their chances of making it to the next round of the ongoing AFCON.
Ahead of the game,here are key aspects to note about the clash of Nations having 9 AFCON titles between them.
Past Confrontations and Results:
14 Jul 1978 Ghana 2 v 1 Cameroon – African Games
09 Mar 1982 Cameroon 0 v 0 Ghana – Africa Cup of Nations
05 May 1982 Cameroon 0 v 0 Ghana- African Friendship Cup
30 Nov 1994 Ghana 1 v 0 Cameroon- Simba Cup
04 Oct 1998 Cameroon 1 v 3 Ghana- Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers
22 Jan 2000 Ghana 1 v 1 Cameroon – Africa Cup of Nations
07 Feb 2008 Ghana 0 v 1 Cameroon – Africa Cup of Nations
02 Feb 2017 Cameroon 2 v 0 Ghana- Africa Cup of Nations
Cameroon who are ranked 51st in the world, are making their 19th appearance in the tournament while 50th placed Ghana are playing the AFCON for the 22nd time.
Ghana’s slow start against Benin could be misleading, as they have proven to be slow starters but grow into a formidable opponent as the competition progresses. They have finished in the top four in the last six tournaments, including losing two finals.
This is going to be the 9th meeting in all competitions between them. Ghana has an advantage in the tie with 3 wins against 2 for Cameroon with the other three games finishing in draws.
However, Ghana has failed to beat Cameroon in their four previous meetings in the tournament, losing two and drawing two.
Ghana goes into this game without 22 year old Hibernian FC midfielder Thomas Agyepong who sustained an injury against Benin.
The morals of the Indomitable Lions were boasted with the visit of their all times leading goal scorer and the AFCON’s all time top goal getter Samuel Eto’o who spent time with the players and coaches as a sign of support.
Cameroon are unbeaten in their last seven games in the Africa Cup of Nations (W4, D3), their longest run since February 2000 – February 2004 (12 games) when they won the 2000 and 2002 tournaments.
Four time winners Ghana have won only one of their last five AFCON games (D3, L1) after winning six of their previous seven and drawn one.
Andre and Jordan Ayew, sons of the legendary Abedi Ayew Pele who came in as a substitute for Kofi Badu in the 1982 final against Libya (the last time Ghana lifted the trophy), have been involved in 12 of Ghana’s last 16 goals in the Africa Cup of Nations (9 goals and 3 assists).
In this game of champions, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon have a slight advantage especially after their display in the first game, but the stakes are high for Ghana who will not want to compromise their chances of qualifying for the maiden round of 16 in the tournament. It promises great entertainment for the neutrals and nail biting times for their supporters.
Players to Watch
Christian Mougang Bassogog (Cameroon)
Position: Winger Club: Henan Jianye Age: 23
The 2017 tournament’s best player Christian Bassogog was lively against Guinea Bissau, he created chances, took on opponents with ease, got himself into great positions but his finishing let him down. He will be handful for the Ghanaian back line especially if he gets his finishing right.
Jordan Ayew (Ghana)
Position: Forward Club: Crystal Palace Age: 27
With the risk of Andre Ayew missing this game due to injury, the focus and attention should be turned to his brother Jordan Ayew. He scored his 15th goal in 54 caps with that well taken goal at the 42nd minute to put Ghana 2-1 ahead against Benin unfortunately they failed to hold on to that lead as Benin found an equalizer after Ghana had gone a man down in the second half.
The winner in this game will make a massive step towards qualification for the round of 16 of the first ever 24 nations AFCON.