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Saturday, September 30, 2023

2023 AFCON Qualifying Recap: Groups E-H

Group E


  • It is difficult to praise or be critical of Ghana’s performance in their opening two matches. The Black Stars eased past a Madagascar side missing numerous starters before not looking at their best while drawing Central African Republic in Angola. Manager Otto Addo is still finding his feet but Ghanaian supporters should not overlook that Central African Republic is not the minnow they used to be.
  • Having Mohammed Kudus back healthy is massive for the Black Stars and he was influential across both games. The Ghanaian attack looked a lot more threatening with the Ajax playmaker fully fit compared to when Kudus had just returned from injury for the Qatar 2022 qualifying playoff against Nigeria.
  • Angola earned a massive point against a Madagascar side known for their fierce home advantage. The Palancas Negras are a team to watch, particularly their attack led by Gelson Dala and Leeds United winger Hélder Costa.
  • While Angola look likely to qualify for the AFCON their defense had a couple of notable lapses in concentration across both games that were responsible for both of the goals they conceded, most notably failing to be ready following a hydration break at Madagascar.
  • Madagascar was plagued by numerous absences and a notable lack of preparation in their 3-0 opener defeat to Ghana while not looking too much better in a 1-1 home draw against Angola. The Barea have plenty of work to do because right now it appears they may be in for a battle to avoid last place at this point.
  • Following their success at the 2017 AFCON where they advanced to the knockout stage on their debut appearance, Madagascar have notably struggled to transition from the successful veteran-led side. There are young talents in the squad but there will be a period of difficulties while they gain experience.
  • Central African Republic announced themselves as a program on the rise in 2021 with an appearance for the under-20 side at the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations before the senior team shocked Nigeria 1-0 in Lagos during 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying. Les Fauves are continuing to show they are a competent side after taking the lead at Angola and drawing Ghana.

Best Goal of the Week

Mohammed Kudus- Ghana vs. Central African Republic

Next Two Matchdays

Matchday 3

Ghana vs. Angola

Madagascar vs. Central African Republic

Matchday 4

Angola vs. Ghana

Central African Republic vs. Madagascar

Group F