Ghana’s Chances at World Cup 2022
After a very disappointing Africa Cup of Nations in January, where the Black Stars were eliminated at the group stage, there were concerns that Ghana could miss out on World Cup 2022 as well. Online sites featured in sportsbook reviews were not confident that Nigeria could be overcome.
But a crucial away goal from Arsenal’s Thomas Partey has booked Ghana’s passage to Qatar at the end of the year to take part in its fourth World Cup finals. But with a tough group draw, how well can the Black Stars do? After missing out on World Cup 2018 can Ghana go further than even the team that fell at the quarterfinal stage in South Africa 12 years ago?
Tough Group Stage
Seeded in pot 4 for the draw, Ghana was always going to be pitted against some of the best teams in the world. It is probably fair to say that if Ghana does make it out of Group H it will be a huge achievement for the players and the coaches.
The Black Stars have been drawn to play Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea. With only two going through to the next round from each group, a minimum of four points will be needed – but probably more.
The group could have been even more difficult but collecting the required points to go through will be tough. First up will be Portugal, with Cristiano Ronaldo possibly playing at his last World Cup finals. Portugal is one of the favourites to go all the way in Qatar, so even a draw would be a good result here.
Next up is South Korea in a game that looks like being an absolute must-win for the Black Stars. Spearheaded by Tottenham’s Heung-min Son, South Korea are World Cup regulars and will be no pushover. But this will definitely be targeted as the most winnable group game.
That could leave a winner takes all final group stage game against Uruguay, where Ghana will be looking for revenge. Luis Suarez was sent off denying an obvious goal in extra time when the two nations met in the quarterfinal of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. It would be fitting justice if Ghana could knock out the South Americans in Qatar to go through to the next stage.
Possible Knock Out Opponents
It is obvious that the group stage will be very difficult for Ghana – but there is a chance. Without wishing to get ahead of ourselves, we have now taken a look at who the Black Stars could face in the round of 16.
There are no easy games at World Cups and if Ghana does make it through as runners-up it could well face Brazil in the next round. Winning the group would mean a tie against the runners up in Group G. That would more than likely be one of Switzerland, Serbia or Cameroon. These are all potentially difficult – but winnable – games.
If Ghana were able to get through to the last eight there would be huge celebrations across the country. But, as we have already seen, that is a very big ‘if’ at the moment.
Players to Shine in Qatar
With the AFCON debacle still fresh in their minds, the players showed their strength and conviction by beating Nigeria over two legs of the final round of World Cup qualifying. Now they will need to play as one team to get past three tough opponents in the opening phase of the World Cup in Qatar.
Thomas Partey will be the main man in the middle of the pitch and he will be looking for the Ayew brothers to combine up front to score the goals needed to progress. Andre Ayew missed the Nigeria game because of suspension but should be back for the finals. The squad will be announced in October, so we will know then which players to rely on for any potential World Cup glory.