Hughton names 25-man squad to face CAR, Liberia… Partey, Amartey out, Medeama SC striker Sowah included

The Head Coach of the Black Stars, Chris Hughton has handed a maiden call-up to Medeama SC striker Jona­than Sowah for the Africa Cup of Nations Group E final qualifier against the Central African Repub­lic (CAR) in Kumasi on Thursday.

Jonathan Sowah - Handed Black Stars' debut
Jonathan Sowah – Handed Black Stars’ debut

The 24-year-old attacker is the only local-based player included in Coach Hughton’s squad for the upcoming crucial fixture.

Sowah would also be in the reck­oning for the international friendly encounter against the Lone Stars of Liberia on September 12, at the Accra Sports Stadium.

Daniel Amartey - injured
Daniel Amartey – injured

The forward, who joined league champions Medeama SC in the second round of last season, scored 12 goals to power them to their first league title.

Sowah has continued his fine form, aiding his club side to qualify to the next round of the on-go­ing CAF Champions League by scoring the decisive penalty against Nigerian outfit Remo Stars last week, having scored the only goal in the first leg in Cape Coast.

He becomes the second lo­cal-based player to receive a call-up under Coach Hughton after former Bechem United striker Hafiz Konkoni, who is now with Young Africans of Tanzania.

Sowah will join the 25-man Black Stars camp today at the Swiss Spirits Alisa Hotels and train with the team at the Accra Sports Stadium before moving to Kumasi tomorrow to step up preparation for the game on Thursday.

Visibly missing from Coach Hughton’s squad is Deputy Skipper Thomas Partey, who is reported to have sustained a groin injury in a training session with club side Arsenal in London.

His injury situation has wors­ened with injuries to experienced defenders Daniel Amartey and Mohammed Salisu, midfielders Majeed Ashimeru and Kamaldeen Sulemana, and goalkeeper Joseph Wollacott.

But a piece of good news to fans of the team is the return of Atletico Bilbao and Bournemouth strikers Inaki Williams and Antoine Semenyo.

The duo missed the game against Madagascar in Antanarivo in June due to injury.

Also making a return to national duties is shot stopper Richard Ofori, Baba Abdul Rahman, Gide­on Mensah, Stephan Ambrosius, Kingsley Schindler, and Alexander Djiku, Baba Iddissu, Elisha Owusu and Ransford-Yeboah Konings­dorffer.

The skipper of the side, Andre Dede Ayew, who is without a club at the moment, has been named in the squad for the double-header.

Ayew is without a club after his release by Notting­ham Forest at the end of the 2022/23 Premier League season.

Ghana tops Group E with nine points and needs a draw or win to secure qualifi­cation for the

 tournament to be hosted in Cote d’Ivoire in January, 2024.

Angola follows on the heels of Ghana with eight points, with CAR in third place with seven points.

Below is the full list:

Goalkeepers – Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Abdul Manaf Nurudeen, Richard Ofori.

Defenders – Alidu Seidu, Kings­ley Schindler, Stephen Ambrosius, Joseph Aidoo, Alexander Djiku, Nicholas Opoku, Baba Abdul Rah­man and Gideon Mensah.

Midfielders: Abdul Samed Salis, Baba Iddrisu, Edmund Addo, Andre Ayew, Elisha Owusu, Mohammed Kudus and Ransford Koningsdoffer.

Forwards – Inaki Williams, Antoine Semenyo, Jordan Ayew, Ernest Nuamah, Osman Bukari, John Paintsil and Jonathan Sowah.

Meanwhile, the Central African Republic (CAR) team, the Wild Beasts, on Saturday, arrived in Ghana ahead of Thursday’s Group E final game at the Baba Yara Stadium.

Led by Head Coach Raoul Savoy, the Wild Beasts contingent consists mainly of home-based players and technical team mem­bers.

They are expected to be joined by their foreign-based players soon after honouring the weekend’s matches in Europe.

Coach Savoy will be without Olympique Marseille midfielder and team captain Geoffrey Kon­dogbia, who has been ruled out of the clash due to injury.

Also out of the clash is first-choice goalkeeper Dominique Youfeigane, who was sent off in the last game against Angola.

The Wild Beasts, however, would have top marksman Louis Mafouta, who has scored four goals in the qualifiers, along­side Chinese Super League club Dalian Professional forward Cesar Manzoki, Austrian base Eleoenai Tompte, and Karl Namnganda back in the team.

Coach Savoy and his charges will need all three points to secure qualification for next year’s Afri­ca Cup of Nations tournament in Cote d’Ivoire.

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