Black Stars

Abidjan’s Félix Houphouët Boigny Stadium is set to take the spotlight once again as the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) Group B resumes action on Thursday, January 18.

In a highly anticipated clash, Egypt, the record holders of the tournament, will face off against West African powerhouse Ghana in a 20:00 kickoff, both teams determined to secure nothing less than a victory.

The opening matches saw Egypt being held to a 1-1 draw by Mozambique, while the Black Stars suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat to Cape Verde.

Despite their impressive historical performances in the tournament, both teams have struggled to maintain their high standards in recent times.

Questions surround Egypt’s unconvincing display against Mozambique, raising concerns about the form of the previous edition’s silver-medalists. Similarly, Ghana’s unexpected loss to Cape Verde has sparked inquiries into the performance of the star-studded Black Stars team.

With the so-called underdogs of the group, Cape Verde and Mozambique currently riding high on confidence, both Egypt and Ghana find themselves in a precarious position, needing a victory in Thursday’s match.

This encounter marks the fifth TotalEnergies CAF AFCON meeting between the two football giants.

Their previous encounters include three group stage matches, each team securing one victory, a draw, and both sides scoring two goals.

Additionally, they met once in the final, with Egypt emerging victorious in 2010 with a 1-0 win.

Last 5 games

  • Ghana 6-1 Egypt (2014 World Cup Qualifiers)
  • Egypt 2-1 Ghana (2014 World Cup Qualifiers)
  • Egypt 2-0 Ghana (2018 World Cup Qualifiers)
  • Egypt 1-0 Ghana (AFCON 2017)
  • Ghana 1-1 Egypt (2018 World Cup Qualifiers)

What has been said?

Both teams held their press conferences on Wednesday January 17 ahead of the much-anticipated fixture.

Ghana’s head coach, Chris Hughton, talked about the need for his side to up their game considering they play a side that is better than his team at the moment.

“Our level has to be higher. On paper, we’re playing a better side [Egypt],” said the Irish trainer. “I am the leader who has to concentrate on preparation for the next game.”

He also spoke about whether Mohammed Kudus will be involved against the Pharaohs.

Hughton had this to say at the presser, “We will continue to assess Mohammed Kudus. He has trained the last few days. We will assess him and make a decision [before the game].”

For Egypt, whether or not the West Ham United man gets to play or not, Rui Vitoria says his team are preparing adequately for the fixture.

“I think it’s good for the tournament [that] the best players play all the games. Of course, he’s a fantastic player. He’s doing well in the Premier League. In this [tournament], I’m ready to face that kind of player,” the Portuguese said when quizzed about the 23-year-old.

“We are ready for that. We will prepare the team for that if he plays. We have to control him. But not only him, because the Ghanaian team is very good and all the players are good.”

Egypt’s possible starting lineup:

El-Shenawy, Hany, Hegazy, Abdelmonem, Hamdi, Zizo, Elneny, Fathi, Salah, Mohamed, Trezeguet

Ghana’s possible starting lineup:

Ofori Odoi, Dijku, Salisu, Mensah, Ashimeru, Baba, Paintsil, Konigsdorffer, J Ayew, Semenyo


Ghana 0-2 Egypt