Five Things to Know about Ghana

Watch: USA-Ghana on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT, MAX, Peacock, Universo, FDP Radio)
By: Michael Lewis

In its final tune-up before a pair of vital Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal matches, the U.S. Men's National Team plays Ghana in the second game of the October international window. The friendly will be hosted at GEODIS Park in Nashville, Tenn. on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 8:30 p.m. ET (TNT, MAX, Peacock, Universo, FDP Radio).

The Americans are coming off a 3-1 loss to Germany in East Hartford, Conn. on Saturday, Oct. 14. Christian Pulisic scored the lone goal for the hosts.

Ghana is preparing for 2026 World Cup qualifying matches against Madagascar at home and on the road against Comoros in November.

On Saturday night, Mexico defeated Ghana, 2-0, in Charlotte, N.C. Hirving Lozano and Uriel Antuna scored in the second half.

FOOTBALLING HISTORY

After years of falling short of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup, the Ghanaians hit the jackpot in 2006 and have qualified for four of the five last world championships. In Germany in 2006, they reached the Round of 16, finishing with a 2-2-0 record and in 13th place. Ghana went further in South Africa in 2010, reaching the quarterfinals but losing to Uruguay in penalty kicks. Still, Ghana finished in an impressive seventh place.

Four years later in Brazil in 2014, the squad did not fare as well. Ghana failed to advance out of its group with a 0-2-1 mark. Ghana did not qualify for Russia 2018 but booked a spot in the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar.  The team finished fourth in Group H at the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 1-2-0 record. The Africans lost to Portugal, 3-2, but rebounded with a 3-2 win vs. South Korea. They were eliminated after losing to Uruguay, 2-0.

The Ghanaians have won the African Cup of Nations four times (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982). They qualified for the 2023 competition, which will be held in Ivory Coast, from Jan. 13-Feb. 11.

André Ayew has accrued the most international appearances for Ghana (115) and is not retired. He has scored 24 goals. Asamoah Gyan, who retired in 2019, is the all-time goal-scorer with 51 in 109 matches.

USMNT vs. GHANA

These national sides have met only four times; remarkably, the first three encounters came in the FIFA World Cup and each resulted in a 2-1 scoreline.

In their first meeting at the 2006 competition in Germany, Ghana eliminated the Americans in group play on the strength of midfielder Stephen Appiah's penalty kick in second minute of first-half stoppage time. Haminu Draman scored the Africans' opening goal before Clint Dempsey equalized.

Asamoah Gyan's extra time goal spoiled the Americans' hopes of reaching the quarterfinals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Kevin Prince Boateng and the USA's Landon Donovan traded goals during regulation.

The USMNT posted its first victory over its nemesis at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Natal, Brazil. Defender John Brooks converted Graham Zusi's corner kick into a goal to snap a 1-1 tie in the 88th minute. Dempsey scored 29 seconds after the opening kickoff, the quickest World Cup goal in USA history, but Andre Ayes leveled the match in the 82nd minute.

In the first friendly between the sides, Dom Dwyer and Kellyn Acosta tallied their first international goals for the United States in East Hartford, Conn. on July 1, 2017. Frank Acheampong scored for the Africans.

RECENT MATCHES

Ghana started off the year with a scoreless draw in Algeria on Jan. 7. In Chris Hughton's debut as head coach, his squad recorded a 1-0 home win over Angola in a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match in dramatic fashion on March 23. Antoine Semenyo scored six minutes into second-half stoppage time. Four days later, Ghana played to a 1-1 draw at Angola as Osman Bukari connected for the equalizer in the 72nd minute.

Host Madagascar and Ghana played to a scoreless tie in another qualifier on June 18. The Ghanaians booked a spot in AFCON with a 3-1 win over the Central African Republic, overcoming a first-half deficit on Sept. 7. Mohammed Kudus scored the equalizer in the 43rd minute and Ernest Nuamah struck in the 88th minute for another late victory. Ghana finished atop of Group E with a 3-0-3 mark, outscoring its foes, 8-3.

In a 3-1 friendly triumph over Liberia at home on Sept. 12, Nuamah, Kudus and Jordan Ayew, the son of former Ghana great Abedi Pele and the brother of national team teammates André and Ibrahim Ayew, scored for the winners. André and Ibrahim are not the roster for this North American trip.

Ghana were shutout 2-0 by Mexico at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. on Saturday, Oct. 14. Hirving Lozano gave Mexico a 57th-minute lead and second-half substitute Uriel Antuna added an insurance tally in the 72nd minute.

GHANA MANAGER

Chris Hughton, 64, has coached mostly club teams since he took on the caretaker's role with Tottenham Hotspur in 1997. After a three-year stint as the Republic of Ireland's assistant manager, Hughton has directed Newcastle United, Birmingham City, Norwich City, Brighton & Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest in the English Football League.

He was named Ghana manager on Feb. 12 of this year. The team is unbeaten under Hughton at 3-0-2.

Hughton played most of his professional career with Tottenham, from 1977-90, but also saw action with West Ham United and Brentford before retiring in 1993. He played 53 times for Ireland, scoring once, from 1979-91.

ROSTER

Head coach Chris Hughton brought 21 players for his North American trip.

The entire team plays abroad in such countries as France, England, Turkey, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Serbia, Switzerland and South Africa. Six players compete in French Ligue 1, and another four in the English Premier League.

Forward Jordan Ayew is the oldest (32), most capped (91) and leading goal-scorer (19) on this squad, having. Midfielder Thomas Partey, who is next with 19 goals in 46 matches, captained the team in the 2-0 loss to Mexico on Saturday. He played only the first half, after returning from a recent injury.

Midfielder Kingsley Schindler and Partey each are 30 years old, the only other players over 30. The rest of the squad is 29 or under.

Forward Ernest Nuamah, who plays for Lyon (France), is the youngest player (19).

Defender Jerome Opoku earned his first cap against Mexico.

DETAILED ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS (3): Lawrence Ati-Zigi (St. Gallen/SUI; 18/0); Abdul Manaf Nurudeen (Eupen/BEL; 2/0) Richard Ofori (Orlando Pirates/RSA; 24/0)

DEFENDERS (6): Alidu Seidu (Clermont; FRA; 7/0), Joseph Aidoo (Celta Vigo/ESP; 15/0), Nicholas Opoku (Amiens/FRA; 14/1), Jerome Opoku (İstanbul Başakşehir/TUR; 1/0), Gideon Mensah (Auxerre/FRA; 16/0), Stephan Ambrosius (Karlsruher SC/GER; 3/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Joseph Painstil (Genk/BEL; 9/0), Thomas Partey (Arsenal/ENG; 46/13), Edmund Addo (Red Star Belgrade/SRB; 10/0), Salis Abdul Samed (Lens/FRA; 8/0), Elisha Owusu (Auxerre/FRA; 4/0), Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdorffer (Hamburger SV/GER; 1/0), Mohammed Kudus (West Ham United/ENG; 25/7), Kingsley Schindler (Samsunspor; TUR; 2/0)

FORWARDS (4): Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace/ENG; 91/19), Ernest Nuamah (Lyon/FRA; 2/0), Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao/ESP; 9/0), Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth/ENG; 9/2)

Go Deeper