ModernGhana logo
12.12.2005 Football News

President Kufuor Banks Hopes On Appiah & Essien

By CitiFm
Listen to article

His Excellency, the President John Agyekum Kufuor says he is counting on Chelsea's ace midfielder Michael Essien and Fenerbache's Stephen Appiah to lead the Black Stars to victory next year in the World Cup finals.

Ghana has been drawn in Group E with Italy, the Czech Republic and the United States of America.

With the exception of Ghana, Group E is reminiscent of the 1990 World Cup pairings where Italy was paired with the Czech and the USA.

The USA was thrashed 5-1 by the Czechs and beaten 1-0 by Italy in that particular tournament.

Ghana will repeat their encounter against Italy in last year's Olympic Games in next year's World Cup when they take on the Azzuri on the 12th of June in the opening game of Group E in Hanover.

Speaking after the draw, President Kufuor stressed that the first game against Italy will determine the fate of Ghana.

'Most of the players like Essien and Appiah play in Europe and have seen it all on the international stage and so a good showing against Italy will determine our future in the tournament', he stated.

The Stars will take on the Czech Republic on the 17th of June in Cologne in their second game and then round up with the USA on the 22nd of June in Nuremberg.

Host nation Germany were drawn against, Ecuador, Poland and Costa Rica in Group A.

In Group B, 1966 Champions England is draw against Paraguay, Trinidad and Tobago and Sweden.

In Group C, two-time World Champions Argentina is drawn against new entrants Ivory Coast, Serbia and Montenegro and the Netherlands.

EURO 2004 finalists Portugal faces Iran, Mexico and Angola in Group D. 1998 World Champions, France faces former colony Togo, Korea Republic and Switzerland in Group G African Champions Tunisia is drawn in Group H with Spain, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia.