2026 World Cup qualifiers: Ghana v Madagascar preview

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The senior national team, the Black Stars will begin their campaign for the 2026 World Cup this weekend.

In the first two Group I games, Ghana will host Madagascar at the Baba Yara Stadium on November 21 before travelling to face Comoros on November 21 at the Stade de Moroni.

Chris Hughton and his technical team having had a good start after going five games unbeaten saw their unbeaten run come to a halt.

The Black Stars suffered back-to-back defeats against Mexico and USA in the October international friendly. The team conceded six goals without scoring in any of the games.

Having steered the team to secure qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Chris Hughton and his boys will hope to kick off their World Cup qualifiers on a good note.

The African continent will for the first time present a record number of ten nations to football’s newly expanded global showpiece.

Only five countries were present at the 2022 finals in Qatar, where Morocco made history by becoming the first African side to reach the semi-finals.

However, nine African sides are guaranteed a spot at the next edition in Canada, Mexico and the United States, a tournament that will feature 48 teams, up from 32.

Some of the runners-up in the nine qualifying groups will get another chance to make an appearance at the global showpiece.

The four best-ranked second-placed sides will be drawn into play-offs, with a semi-final and final in November 2025 determining which African side will advance to an intercontinental play-off tournament.

Black Stars, who are seeking to secure a fifth Mundial appearance after playing in Germany, South Africa, Brazil and Qatar respectively on Monday opened camp in Accra before flying to Kumasi on Tuesday to kick start their preparations for the two games.

The team held their first training sessions behind closed doors ahead of the games.

Having announced 25-man squad for the games, two players have withdrawn from the squad due to minor injuries.

Medeama’s Abdulai Nurudeen is the latest local player called up by Hughton, replacing Abdul Mumin of Rayo Vallecano.

Leicester City’s Abdul Fatawu Issahaku has also received a call-up, replacing Kamaldeen Sulemana who plays his club football for Southampton in the English Championship.

The team will be led by Andre Ayew, who before his inclusion in the squad was clubless but has joined French Ligue 1 side, Le Havre as a free agent for the rest of the season.

Lawrence Ati-Zigi was the last player to join the rest of his teammates having missed out in the first training session on Tuesday.

Madagascar arrived in Kumasi on Wednesday and held their mandatory training at the Baba Yara Stadium.


Ghana and Madagascar have met five times at different levels.

The last fixture between the two sides was the second leg of the 2023 AFCON qualifier played at the Mahamasina Municipal Stadium, Antananarivo.

The game ended in a goalless draw, it was Hughton’s third game in charge of the national team.

The first leg finished 3-0 in favour of the Black Stars in Cape Coast.

The other three meetings have seen the Black Stars lose twice to the Malagasy, with their first-ever meeting ending in a three-all draw at the Four Nation Tournament hosted in Tunisia.


The game has been scheduled to be played at the Baba Yara Stadium.


The game has been scheduled to kick off at 16:00GMT.


Moroccan referee, Guezzaz Samir has been appointed to officiate the game. He will be assisted by Brinsi Zakaria (Assistant I), Naciri Hamza (Assistant II) and EL Jaafari Noureddine (Fourth Referee).

Nigeria’s Shaibu Amadu is the Referee Assessor and Kachalla Babagana Kalli from Nigeria operates as the Match Commissioner.



Ati-Zigi, Alidu Seidu, Gideon Mensah, Daniel Amartey, Nicholas Opoku, Salis Samed, Baba Iddrisu, Andre Ayew (c), Jordan Ayew, Mohammed Kudus, Inaki Williams


R. Rakotoh­asimbola, Romain Metanire, Fabien Boyer, R. Nirina, T. A. Rabarijaona, L. Rafanom­ezantsoa, A. Manoel­antsoa, Romario Baggio, Tendry Manovo Mataniah, Carolus Andria (c), Dorian Bertrand


Ghana 2-0 Madagascar

Source: adomonline


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