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Chile vs Ghana Preview

February 27, 2012 By Gregory Sica
Ghana will be looking to rebound from a frustrating African Cup of Nations campaign when they clash with Chile in what is likely to be an entertaining exhibition match in Philadelphia on Wednesday.

Team News

Chile's Argentine boss Claudio Borghi will field a close to full-strength side against the Africans, which include the likes of exciting Barcelona winger Alexis Sanchez, Matias Fernandez, Humberto Suazo, Gary Medel and recent Napoli signing Eduardo Vargas.

But Borghi will be unable to count with the presence of five key players who are completing a ten-game national team ban for an incident which occurred prior to a World Cup qualifying game in Santiago last year. 

 Meanwhile, under-fire Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic, has selected a relatively similar squad as to the one which reached the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations earlier in the month only to bow out at the hands of eventual champions Zambia. Andre and Jordan Ayew, the two sons of three-time African Player of the Year Abedi Pele, are expected to be two of Ghana's key players. 

One player who will not take part in the game is Asamoah Gyan, who shocked fans by announcing his international retirement, after receiving heavy criticism after failing to convert a decisive penalty kick in the semi-finals of the African Cup of Nations. The same player had missed a significantly more crucial spot-kick against Uruguay in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup, which if it had been scored would have sent Ghana into the semi-finals of the competition. 

The game will also call for the international debuts of four Ghana players, these being Afriyie Acquah, Dominic Oduro, Richard Mpong and Emmanuel Baffoe.


Chile confront the encounter in turmoil, as not only did the side experience a frustrating Copa America last year, but they have stuggled to find an sort of consistency in the 2014 South American World Cup qualifiers. While they won their two home games, against Peru and Paraguay, they were on the wrong end of heavy 4-0 and 4-1 defeats to Uruguay and Argentina, respectively. Since that game they have faced Paraguay on three occasions, winning twice and losing once.

But what has severely damaged the reputation of the squad is their indiscipline, as no less than five players from the squad, including Juventus star Arturo Vidal, were suspended for ten national team matches by the Chilean FA, after apparently arriving to a training session drunk as Chile prepared for a World Cup qualifier against Peru last October.

Ghana, who have been one of Africa's most consistent teams in recent years, also find themselves in chaos, as while the future of Serbian coach Goran Stevanovic is uncertain, the confirmation of Gyan's national team retirement rocked the squad.

The Black Stars generated much hype coming into the African Cup of Nations, but failed to deliver as they were eliminated at the semi-final stage of the competition. Ghana also went on to lose the third-place match, 2-0 to Mali.

The last time Ghana faced South American opposition was last September, when they were beaten 1-0 by five-time world champions Brazil in London.

Players to Watch

Sanchez - The explosive Barcelona man has been in top form in recent weeks, and if at his best has the potential to rip open the Ghana defense. Alexis will surely cause havoc for the Ghana backline if he is in the right state of mind.

A. Ayew - The 22-year-old attacker made the headlines with his injury-time winner against Inter Milan in the Champions League last week, and will be hoping to continue to make his father proud against the South Americans.


Traditionally characterised for their attacking strength, both Ghana and Chile will have a lot to prove when they clash in the United States. Both teams, and their coaches for that matter, enter the game under pressure, and will surely give it their all. Chile perhaps come into the game as the slight favourites, but either team seem capable of taking this one.

The Verdict:

Chile 1-1 Ghana

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