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AFCON 2019:Elastic Black Stars Of Ghana May Oust The Last North African Standing

The rampaging four times African Cup of Nations Champions, the Black Stars of Ghana is set to eliminate another of the North African teams, the Eagles of Tunisia when they meet in the last of the round of 16 matches on Monday at 8pm in Egypt.
Both teams have been to the World Cup and are veterans on the continent. Ghana was at the World cup thrice and made quarterfinal in 2010 losing via the hand of God to Luiz Suarez of Uruguay in that painful encounter when Asamoah Gyan lost the subsequent penalty kick. Tunisia is rated 28th in the world and 2nd in Africa ahead of Ghana that is rated 49 and 6th in Africa. Nigeria is rated42 in the world and 3rd in Africa. Ghana is on the 22nd appearances and Tunisia on the 19th. Ghana has lifted the cup four times and Tunisia once.
Tunisia was champion in 2004; runners-up twice in 1965 and 1996; Bronze medalists in 1962; Semifinalists twice in 1978 and 2000 and Quarterfinalists for good six times in 1998, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2015 and 2017.
Ghana’s record is elastic. Champions in 1963, 1965, 1978 and 1982; Runners-up five times in 1968, 1970, 1992 (in Senegal), 2010, and 2015; Bronze medalists once in 2008; Semifinalists four times in 1996, 2012, 2013 and 2017; Quarterfinalists five times in 1994, 2000, 2002, 2012 and 2013. That is a very intimidating record.
Ghana is the hardest fighting team in Africa who would say never die and it reflects even in the age grade games. Ghana topped her group winning a match and drawing two. They played 2-2 with the Nations Cup giant killers, Benin Republic who has demolished Morocco; played goalless with defending champions, Lions of Cameroon and slammed Guinea Bissau 2-0.
Tunisia is one passive but quiet achiever. They played three matches in Egypt and drew all. Tunisia played 1-1 with Angola; 1-1 with Mali and a disappointing goalless draw with debutante Mauritania. Their performance so far is far below the Tunisia we know. But we were given the impression that the group E is tough because Angola and Mauritania ended up with two points each while Tunisia scrambled to second position with three points. That is a terribly low performance.
There are only three head to head records. There was a friendly match that ended goalless on 19th November,2008; they also played 1-1 when they met at the cup of Nations hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon on 5th February, 2012 as well Ghana beating them in the last meeting in a friendly match on 13th January, 2013.
Tunisia got the ball possession 165-150 but Ghana has the shots on target at 10-7 and corners 12-8. That means Tunisia wants to play the kind of football we call ‘make me shine’, holding on to the ball and spraying passes about. Football is all about taking your chances and that is where Ghana may prevail taking the shots on target, the corners and the free kicks through fouls.
Tunisia has 7 yellows to Ghana’s 3 and will be careful. Tunisian coach said his team is the hope of North Africa and they will upgrade their game. They have their captain, Wahbi Khazri, Youssef Khenissi and Youssef Msakini the goal scorer. The Ghanains have the Ayew Brothers, Jordan and captain Adrew as well Thomas Partey in the midfield and Yassina Meriah at the back. Jordan’s high performance has kept Asamoah on the bench.


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