The die is cast, and the senior national team, the Black Stars of Ghana are scheduled to play their Saudi counterparts in an international friendly this afternoon at the Saudi Sports Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Kick off time for the match is at 7.30 p.m. local time in Saudi Arabia, and 4.30 p.m. Ghana time.
The match forms part of the preparations by the headcoach, Ratomir Dujkovic towards raising a formidable and a winsome side ahead of the 25th African Cup Of Nations to be hosted in Egypt.
Being the very first friendly encounter for the Stars, it is hoped that the boys are going to live up to the billing that they are prepared for the big game at the World Cup. It is however interesting to note the that the coach has made it clear that he has cast his net wider to invite every good Ghanaian player living everywhere, and thus has decided to use today's match as a dress rehearsal, and to know the strength and ability of his team.
So far, all but one of the invited players for this all-important match have reported in camp and have undergone series of training schedules under coach Doya. As I write now, it is only Chelsea's Michael Essien whose arrival for the match is in doubt, due to an injury.
All 17 players in camp, George Owu, Philemon MacCarthy, Dan Quaye, Issah Ahmed, Daniel Edusei, Francis Dickoh, John Mensah, Samuel Osei Kuffuor, Anthony Obodai, Abubakar Yakubu, Laryea Kingston, Godwin Attram, Alex Techie Menson, Matthew Amoah, Asamoah Gyan, Aminu Dramani and Sule Ali Muntari have expressed optimism that even though the match is not going to be an easy, they are surely going to win. The skipper for the side, Stephen Appiah was expected to arrive late last night to join the team in camp.
Morale in camp has been very high ever since the second batch of the Europe legion arrived in camp on Friday morning. And as one should expect, being a friendly match, the coach is going to use almost every player invited in the match, but already the players, realizing the heat, have all decided to put in their best at training in order to fight for a position in the first team.
A live commentary on the match will be brought to our readers by yours truly, this afternoon at 4.30 p.m. by courtesy of Ghana's number one sports station, Peace FM 104.3 and elsewhere on the internet at www.peacefmonline.com and www.ghanatoday.com.
Probable Line-Up: George Owu, Issah Ahmed, Daniel Edusei, Samuel Osei Kuffuor, John Mensah, Anthony Obodai, Aminu Dramani, Matthew Amoah, Asamoah Gyan, Laryea Kingston, Sule Ali Muntari.