FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Ghana announce final 21-man squad
What's the story?
The FIFA U-17 World Cup begins on October 6 and in light of it, Ghana, one of the pre-tournament favourites, have today announced their final squad for the 22-day extravaganza in India.
The Ghanaian coach Paa Kwesi Fabin announced the squad just hours after his side played a friendly against Mali in Abu Dhabi. In a surprising move, Ghana have left out seven of their players who represented the nation at the U17 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon earlier this year.
In case you didn't know...
Ghana are one of the most successful teams participating in this edition of the World Cup with the Black Starlets being two-time champions. They have also been runners-up on two occasions along with a third-place finish in 1999. The African nation is back in the fold in the U-17 setup after a hiatus of 10 long years.
The heart of the matter
Paa Kwesi Fabin has selected seven fresh players for the World Cup which may surprise a few with numerous changes being done in the squad which came second at the U-17 Africa Cup of Nations.
Goalkeepers: Ibrahim Danlad (Kotoko), Michael Acquaye (WAFA), Kwame Aziz (Mandela Soccer Academy)
Defenders: Najeeb Yakubu (New Town Youth), Gideon Mensah (Right to Dream), Bismark Terry Owusu(Mandela Soccer Academy), Edmund Arko-Mensah (Wa All Stars), Abdul Razak Yusif(Koforidua Youth), Gideon Acquah (Bofoakwa Tano), Rashid Alhassan (Aduana Stars), John Otu (Dreams FC)
Midfielders: Isaac Gyamfi (New Life FC), Gabriel Leveh (Tema Youth), Ibrahim Sulley (New Life FC), Mohammed Kudus (Right to Dream), Emmanuel Toku (Cheetah FC), Mohammed Iddriss (Cheetah FC)
Strikers: Eric Ayiah (Charity Stars), Richard Danso (WAFA), Mohammed Aminu (WAFA), Ibrahim Sadiq (Right To Dream)
The Black Starlets are placed in Group A with the hosts India and the other two teams being Colombia and the USA. Ghana face Colombia in the first match of the World Cup on October 6th at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi.
Considering their form in the AFCON and a staggering win percentage of 74 in World Cup finals, Ghana can be said as one of the favourites for the World Cup along with Germany and Mexico. The African nation have also been given a relatively easy group from which they are expected to sail through to the knockout stages.