Black Stars captain, Andre Dede Ayew has conceded that the senior national team are far from the finished article, as the country nears a tough run of games, in search of a World Cup berth.
Following CK Akonnor’s appointment and the Black Stars performances in his first run of games, many Ghanaians have expressed worry about the country’s chances of qualifying for the global showpiece event, and Dede Ayew seems to share similar sentiments.
Nonetheless, he has expressed gratitude for the support the Black Stars have recently received, in a period which have been difficult times for the national team.
“Two good games v two top teams, lots of encouraging stuff but still more work to do to be ready for WCQ in September. Thanks for the support, we keep going,” the 31-year-old winger said in a tweet after the friendly with Cote d’Ivoire.
The Black Stars were scheduled to play the first set of their World Cup Qualifiers after the just-ended domestic seasons across Europe. In May however, CAF postponed the games to September, October and November of this year, as well as March 2022, over concerns with the coronavirus.
In place of the postponed games, the GFA organized two international friendlies with Morocco and Cote d’Ivoire to serve as preparatory games for the senior national team. The Black Stars lost the first to Morocco and only managed a draw with The Elephants in Cape Coast.
Despite concerns from the general public and media ahead of the country’s World Cup qualifiers, Dede Ayew believes the results from the friendly games are not justifications for concern.
“I think this [against Ivory Coast] was a differnet game and it was a friendly coming up. We know what’s ahead of us, some of us have played a lot of qualification games and we know what’s ahead and we will be ready, we are not worried.
“We will have wanted to win the two games but we are not worried,” the captain said in an interview.
This year’s FIFA World Cup qualifiers will see countries battle for spots in three separate rounds. Round One will witness African countries ranked 27-54 play in home-and-away double-legged ties, with 14 of the 27 qualifying for round two.
The 14 qualified teams will join countries ranked between 1 and 26 in the second round. The 40 countries, will then compete in home-and-away round-robin matches, in 10 groups of four teams. Only 10 out of the 40 countries will qualify for the third round.
In round three, the 10 winners from the second round will play home-and-away fixtures over two legs, with five securing Africa’s slots for the World Cup.
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