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Black Stars: CK Akonnor names squad for Mali friendly

Ahead of Ghana’s international friendly game against Mali, Black Stars head coach, Charles Kwablan Akonnor has named his 23-man squad.

Ghana, who has been without a competitive game since November 2019 will play the Eagles of Mali on October 09, in Antalya, Turkey as part of the team’s preparations for the AFCON qualifier against Sudan.

The team was also scheduled to play Equatorial Guinea on October 12, but the Central African country, late Thursday, pulled out of the game, citing new travel restrictions imposed in their country. Equatorial Guinea’s borders are closed, and flights are suspended due to new COVID-19 rules.

Nine players were dropped from Akonnor’s initial list announced in March for the matches against Sudan which were eventually postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Among the players dropped are Christopher Antwi (Paderborn – Germany), Tariq Fosu (Brentford FC – England), Mubarak Wakaso (Jiangsu Suning – China), Alfred Duncan (Fiorentina – Italy), Richmond Boakye Yiadom (Red Star Belgrade – Serbia), Yahaya Mohammed (Aduana Stars – Ghana), Richard Attah (Hearts of Oak – Ghana), Kwadwo Amoako (Ashgold – Ghana), and Andy Yiadom (Reading – England).

C. K Akonnor handed debuts to Benson Anang, Alexander Djiku, John Antwi, Emmanuel Lomotey, Kamal Deen, and Yakubu Mohammed who plays for Azam FC.

Both Ayew brothers – Andre and Jordan – also return to the squad, as well as Atlético Madrid midfielder, Thomas Partey.

Ghana top Group F with 6 points following victories against South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe in November 2019.

Squad list:

Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Maritzburg), Richard Ati Zigi (St. Gallen), Razak Abalora (Unattached)

Full Backs: Benson Anang (Zilina FC), Lumor Agbenyenu (Sporting Club), Yakubu Mohammed (Azam FC), Gideon Mensah (Vitoria de Guimaraes)

Centre Backs: Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg), Joseph Aidoo (Celta de Vigo), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens), Kassim Nuhu (Hoffenheim)

Midfielders: Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid), Emmanuel Lomotey (Amiens), Bernard Mensah (Besiktas), Baba Iddrisu (RCD Mallorca)

Attackers/Wingers: Andre Ayew (Swansea), Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), John Antwi (Pyramids FC), Eugene Ansah (Hapoel Shmona), Jefferey Schlupp (Crystal Palace), Samuel Owusu (Al Fayha FC), Kamal Deen (Nordsjaelland SC), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax SC)

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