Former Ghana manager Charles Akonnor was the most recent dismissal despite facing difficult circumstances. Having completed the job of qualifying the Black Stars to the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, Akonnor attempted to take advantage of a couple of friendly matches during the summer to build chemistry and try new players out, but there were few opportunities to discover the best tactics and player selection. A transition period between generations within the Ghanaian player pool was always going to be difficult to navigate while obtaining the results required by management and the fanbase, and newcomers like Kamal Deen Sulemana and Alexander Djiku had to adjust to international football on the job. A loss against Morocco and a draw against Ivory Coast in June with zero goals scored for Ghana in both games kept supporters nervous heading into qualifying, and the absence of star midfielder Thomas Partey for the opening qualifiers due to injury made them even more skeptical.
The performances in the friendlies were not pleasing to the eye for Ghana under Akonnor, but it appeared that the Black Stars under him were going to be difficult to score against. However, despite a clean sheet, the opening match against Ethiopia was a major letdown. In the memory of Ghanaian fans and management, Ethiopia was a team they easily defeated 5-0 at home and 2-0 away in their last competitive duels, but this time around a more talented and organized Walias side were allowed to settle into the match. The only reason Ghana came out with an expected win was because a catastrophic goalkeeping error allowed Ghana playmaker Wakaso Mubarak’s long-range effort to stand as the winner in a 1-0 result. Three points were not enough to hide a largely negative reception to the result in the country.