AFCON 2017 Qualifiers
Mauritius vs Ghana
Venue: Stade Anjalay
Date/Time: June 5, 2016/11:00 GMT
Referee: Bamlak Tessema Weyesa (Ethiopia)
Sitting third in Group H of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers, Mauritius have their destinies in their hands as they host a ‘mighty’ opponent in Ghana in the penultimate round of games Sunday.
Club M, as they are affectionately called, got walloped 7-1 by the Black Stars in Accra almost about a year ago in the first fixture. They’ve steadily overcome that huge setback and hold six points from 4 games but with a deficit of 9 goals with Rwanda just above them though with same points but hold a better goal advantage after playing five games. The Rwandans were beaten 3-2 by Mozambique on Saturday.
Despite their slim chances of qualifying for the AFCON in Gabon, head coach Joe Tshupula counts Sunday’s encounter crucial in many levels and is demanding a ‘big performance’ from his charges against the four-time African champions.
“For the M Club, the motto is simple: get a big performance. The ideal outcome would be to win, of course”
“We will have a team that will dominate us maybe. Ghana is a formidable opponent. It will be important for us to be compact in the game.
“The boys I have known all have my confidence. This is a team which is prepared to not be mere spectators. The most important is to work, ensuring its back and play the background suddenly [sic],” he stated.
Tshupula also refused to be drawn into permutations on qualification to the AFCON, while urging total focus on the Black Stars clash.
“This is the time to evaluate facing a nation of world football. So we try not to focus on what is happening in the other groups. ”
Coach Avram Grant and his side are in the Mauritius with the idea to pocket the three points at stake and thus consolidate its top spot in Group H. Ghana arrived in Belle Vue with a contingent of 40 including players and officials Friday night and have since settled down well. The Black Stars trained at the Stade Anjalay on Saturday and look set to complete their mission when they face their hosts on Sunday.
Avram Grant looks unlikely to tweak his ‘usual’ squad but will have stand-in captain Andre Ayew back in the starting XI. Razak Brimah is expected to man the post with Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Jonathan Mensah and John Boye filling up the spaces in defense. Mubarak Wakaso and Afriyie Acquah to hold the fort centrally in midfield while Christian Atsu and Frank Acheampong take to the flanks. The Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, are expect to combine upfront in leading Ghana’s attack.
The Black Stars go into the game with 10 points from four matches.
Goalkeepers: Kevin Jean-Louis (PPMSC), Aboo Bakar Augustin (ASRR)
Defenders: Damien Balisson , Cédric Permal, Brendon Citorah (CDJ), Marco Dorza, Emmanuel Vincent, Jovanni Vincent (ASPL 2000), Francis Rasolofonirina (PRNFC), Kylian Yrnand (RCC Waterloo, Belgium)
Midfielders: Jonathan Aza (GRSE W.), Jonathan Bru (AS Poissy, France), Luther Rose (ASPL 2000), Kevin Chan Yu Tin (Lakeshore SC, Canada), Christopher L’Enclume (ASRR), Colin Bell (PPMSC), Kevin Perticots (PPMSC), Arassen Ragaven, Guiyano Chiffone (CDJ), Kevin Bru (Ipswich Town, Emgland), Adel Langue (CDJ)
Forwards: Jesson Rungassamy (ASRR), Gianno Li Tien Kee (LCSSC), Gary Noël (First Vienna FC, Austria)
Coach: Joe Tshupula
Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Fatau Dauda (AshantiGold), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)
Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Jeffery Schlupp (Leicester City, England), Baba Rahman (Chelsea, England), John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Anzhi, Russia), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Kadri Mohammed (AshantiGold)
Midfielders: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Thomas Partey (Athletico Madrid, Spain) Samuel Tetteh (WAFA), Mubarak Wakaso (Las Palmas, Spain), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo, Italy), Christian Atsu (Malaga, Spain)
Forwards: Andre Ayew (Swansea City, Wales), Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland), Patrick Twumasi (FC Astana, Kazakhstan)
Coach: Avram Grant