Ghana head coach Charles Akonnor has handed a debut to former Asante Kotoko forward Kwame Opoku in his starting XI to face South Africa’s Bafana Bafana in the 2021 AFCON qualifying game at the FNB Stadium.
The 21-year-old, who recently joined Algerian outfit USM Algiers, has earned the berth ahead of China-based Emmanuel Boateng and Eredivisie striker Kwasi Okyere Wriedt who have both been named on the bench.
Opoku impressed in the Black Stars’ 3-1 win over Legon Cities FC during a preparatory game and has earned the spot to start on his debut.
Other players who have earned their debut starts are Spezia forward Emmanuel Gyasi and defender Ismail Ganiyu.
With Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew and Thomas Partey missing in action due to COVID-19 fears Akonnor has opted for experienced legs like Wakaso Mubarak, Afriyie Acquah and Abdul Baba Rahman to steer the four-time AFCON winners to victory.
Turkey-based Caleb Ekuban and Ajax Amsterdam offensive midfielder Kudus Mohammed are expected to offer extra bite in attack in the encounter.
South Africa must win the tie if they are to keep hopes of qualification alive.
16. Razak Abalora
2. Benson Anang
17. Baba Abdul Rahman
4. Nicholas Opoku
27. Ganiyu Ismail
6. Afriyie Acquah
26. Kwame Poku
11. Mubarak Wakaso
13. Caleb Ekuban
20. Mohammed Kudus
25. Emmanuel Gyasi
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