2022 World Cup qualifiers: Akonnor names 30-man squad for Ethiopia and South Africa games

Ghana coach Charles Akonnor has named a 30-man squad for next month’s 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Ethiopia and South Africa.

The squad include two Hearts of Oak players. Goalkeeper Richard Attah and striker Daniel Afriyie Barnieh have been rewarded for their impressive roles in the Phobians’ double success in the just-concluded season.

Hearts of Oak’s sworn rivals Asante Kotoko have one player in the squad, central defender Ismael Ganiyu, and will join former teammate Kwame Opoku who also made the squad.

China-based midfielder Mubarak Wakaso and highly-rated forward Kamaldeen Sulemana have both been included despite not honouring the last invitations for friendlies against Morocco and Ivory Coast.

Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey who is carrying an ankle injury that has ruled him out for three weeks has been named, same as Kudus Mohammed who recently started training after picking up a knock in pre-season.

The debutants in the squad are young goalkeeper Abdul Manaf Nurudeen, striker Kelvin Yeboah, who has scored two goals in three games this season for Austrian Bundesliga side Sturm Graz and Afriyie Barnieh.

The team will open their qualification account at home against Ethiopia on September 3 and then four days later take on South Africa in Johannesburg.

Should Ghana top Group G ahead of South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia they will progress to the third round of qualifiers.

The third round will see the 10 group winners from the second round drawn into five home-and-away ties. The winners of each tie will advance to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Ghana failed to qualify for the last tournament held in Russia after three straight appearances.

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