World Cup qualifier: Ghana v Egypt
10/14/2013 8:00:39 AM -
Ghana may have been Africa's best side in the last two World Cups, but those are not guarantees for reaching the 2014 finals.
Kwesi Appiah's men will require a first leg win in the playoff against Egypt to boost their chances of securing their spot in Brazil.
The two sides will round up the busy first leg matches on the continent on Tuesday as the qualifying campaign that started in November of 2011 for 52 sides on the continent gradually winds down with only ten teams remaining.
Chasing a third consecutive appearance at the tournament, the Black Stars need a win at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi to keep their dreams alive with a return leg on November 19.
The Black Stars will go into this fixture full of confidence in search of a result that will have a significant impact on Appiah's hopes of leading his side to Brazil next year.
"In football circles, it's important that every nation strives to go [to the World Cup]," Appiah told www.ghanafa.org. "And Ghana is no exception."
Appiah is proud to have a squad that has goals throughout with eleven different players credited for the total of 18 goals scored by the Black Stars and the best defensive record in the campaign so far, having conceded three goals. But the Black Stars will be in for a match against one of the continents best attacking sides.
"It's one game at a time for us. We can't start talking about our place in Brazil. We are not there. We face a tough side over two legs and we need good results over both legs."
For Egypt coach Bob Bradley, he gets to meet familiar opponents after Ghana edged out his United States team at the 2010 World Cup.
"We have studied Ghana well. We respect them, but at the same time, we are a good team. In Egypt, everyone speaks about their World Cup dream, regardless of their political background. Qualification could indicate that the country is moving forward," said Bradley.
Kick-off: Tuesday, 16:00GMT (4:00pm local time)