Black Stars coach Chris Hughton has highlighted the significance of the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match against the Central African Republic (CAR) in Kumasi.
The match, set to take place at the Baba Yara Stadium, holds great importance for both teams as they vie for a place in the prestigious tournament.
Ghana currently stand in a favourable position, needing at least a draw in the match to secure their qualification for the 2023 AFCON event, which will be held in neighbouring Ivory Coast. On the other hand, CAR, currently in third place and just two points behind Ghana in the qualification table, know that only a win will propel them to the tournament, potentially displacing the four-time African champions.
Hughton, speaking to the press on Wednesday, expressed the gravity of the match, saying, “Yes, this is our objective; we are very, very conscious of what this game means. Not only the nation but of course myself, the players and everybody involved, we know what this game means.”
Acknowledging the challenges of international football, Hughton stressed the importance of preparation and revealed that, like every team, they have faced injuries, leading to opportunities for other players. Hughton also emphasised the team’s strong record at the Baba Yara Stadium, which they are determined to maintain.
“So our preparation has been for the last two days, often spoken about the difficulty in International football. But it’s the same for Central African Republic team training today and playing tomorrow and it’s the same for us. We will do everything we can to get the result that we want to get. Preparation has been good, as with all International camps, sometimes you miss players through injuries and of course, we are missing some through injuries. But it is always an opportunity for others, we are playing at home, we have a good record here and it’s a record we want to continue,” he said.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 4 pm local time, and football enthusiasts and supporters from both sides will be eagerly anticipating the outcome as the battle for AFCON qualification unfolds.