Zimbabwe will take on Ghana today in the afternoon in the reverse of their 2022 World Cup Group G qualifying series and having suffered a 1-3 defeat at the hands of Ghana, would the Warriors fight for something better which could hamper the hope of the Black Stars in chasing South Africa for the sole slot to represent the group in the next stage of the qualifiers?
Here we take a look at what can change and how the outcome of the results will have a telling effect on the group standing.
Ghana started the campaign with a win over Ethiopia in Cape Coast but their performance in that match was far from convincing to the fans and followers of the team. The fears of the followers were confirmed by the defeat to South Africa three days later and that contributed to the win of the change that swept through the Stars camp with Coach CK Akonnor and his lieutenants suffering the heavy blow.
A former coach of the side and a man who masterminded the nation’s best effort at the global tournament in South Africa a decade ago was brought in to steady the boat and row past the Rainbow nation to book Ghana’s slot from Group G to the next stage.
That decision is proving to be a right call after the Black Stars played with a pattern in their first game since his return. Several key things were there to learn including the use of youngsters including 17-year-old Issahaku Fatawu from the onset. He was not the only spot as there were also places for Kamaldeen Sulemana and the prominent role Ajax attacker Kudus Mohammed showed especially with his first goal were all signs of good tidings.
If not for anything, Jordan Ayew who has been criticized for his lack of productivity in front of the goal area was the architect of that goal and though he was subbed off without him able to register his own on the day.
Zimbabwe succumbed to two second-half goals to leave the stadium empty-handed but their approach to the game from the onset of the second stanza of the game was a beauty and that got them the goal though, via the penalty spot.
They, prior to the match complained of the mistreatment from Ghana and that they could not train properly ahead of the showdown and that could be blamed for their defeat. and they would properly be incensed and would go all out to avenge their defeat as a payback.
Their win would hamper the Stars chances should South Africa draw against Ethiopia and in the worst scenario a win for South Africa would then be disastrous. A win for South Africa and anything but a win for the Stars will keep them outrightly at the summit and slim Ghana’s chances.
The Black Stars priority would be a win and though Zimbabwe is still mathematically in the competition, the only real chance for them to qualify is to win today and the next two which is likely impossible having lost to both Ghana and Ethiopia and managed a draw against South Africa.
Ethiopia is in with a heavy chance should they defeat the Bafana Bafana and Zimbabwe also defeat or draw with the Black Stars.
Group G is still very much open but the higher odds are with South Africa and Ghana to rob shoulders for qualification to the next stage. But can Ethiopia and Zimbabwe spring a surprise?