Ghana Black Stars opening game with Portugal in the Qatar FIFA World Cup 2022 to kickstart with many Ghanaians highly optimistic of a win for the Black Stars.
Ghanaian President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo travelled to Qatar to meet the team ahead of their clash with the Portuguese side as a way of boosting the players morale prior to the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo who parted ways with Manchester United last Tuesday is expected to start and is regarded as a threat for many Ghanaian fans alongside Bruno Fernandez.
Most Portuguese fans hope that Ronaldo will put his ‘rancorous’ departure from Manchester United behind him as his side face Ghana.
Ronaldo who said felt “betrayed” by the club and had no respect for manager Erik ten Hag, also mentioned that the Ghanaian side who sit 61st in the FIFA rankings, will be a tough team and the clash with them a tough one.
The Ghanaian head coach, Otto Addo has also commented on the upcoming opening game against Portugal, and the group they find themselves in.
Surely we want to survive the group stage. We want to go game by game so our full focus is on the Portuguese game. If we don’t look too far and we concentrate on the next game, I think we can do something.
From there, nobody knows, it depends on who you get and also how you play. It’s very difficult to predict so our main focus is to win against Portugal, which will be very difficult. After that, we’ll look at the next step.
Portugal head coach, Fernando Santos also expressed his opinion about the upcoming match with Ghanaian Side.
We are prepared for opponents that will cause us a lot of problems. Ghana are a very well-organised team. Their game against Switzerland showed that.
African teams have a lot of talent, unpredictability, and are always improving tactically. Today they are much more complete teams.”
World Cup Facts About Ghana
- Ghana qualified for three-straight World Cups between 2006 and 2014.
- Ghana will be playing at their fourth World Cup in Qatar after missing out on the 2018 tournament in Russia.
- Ghana have played nine matches under Otto Addo, winning four, losing two and drawing three.
- The Ghana Black Stars have lost two of their previous three opening matches at the World Cup.
- Ghana Black Stars have won four matches in total at the World Cup, (Nigeria (6) is the only African country with more victories).
- Ghana have found the net in each of their last five Fifa World Cup games and could become the third African side to score in six in succession in the competition, after South Africa (6 between 1998 and 2010) and Nigeria (8 between 1994 and 1998).
- Since the start of detailed Opta World Cup data, Ghana have averaged the most shots-per-game in the Fifa World Cup among all teams competing in 2022.
- Ghana captain André Ayew, if played, will have appeared in more matches in the competition than any current player for African nations (8, currently 7).
World Cup Facts About Portugal
- Portugal are winless in their last three opening games of a Fifa World Cup tournament.
- Portugal have won only three of their last 14 World Cup matches, each of them coming in the group stage of the competition.
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored each of his seven Fifa World Cup goals in the group stage.
- Cristiano Ronaldo is one of only five players to score in four different Fifa World Cup tournaments, alongside Pelé, Uwe Seeler, Miroslav Klose and Lionel Messi.
Head to head
At this level Ghana and Portugal have faced each other once.
Portugal beat Ghana 2-1 in their final group game at the 2014 World Cup
Kick-Off Time: 16:00 GMT (4pm Ghana)
Venue: 974 Stadium
Referee: Ismail Elfath (USA)
GOAL GHANA! VICTORY GHANA #teamghana #win4ghana