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Harrison Afful & David Accam join Black Stars for final AFCON qualifier


After their two contrasting fortunes in last weekend’s Major League Soccer (MLS) games, Harrison Afful and David Accam head straight to Accra, Ghana to join their national colleagues to prepare for the final qualifier of the African Cup of Nations.

Ghana, who have already qualified for the 2017 AFCON in Gabon will take on Rwanda at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday, September 3.

Both Accam and Afful were included in Black Stars’ coach Avram Grant’s squad that was dominated by foreign-based players, much to the chagrin of many Ghanaians who wanted the coach to use Ghanaian-based players for the game in order to save cost.

The Black Stars coach however stuck to his usual first team players that included the two American-based and many other European-based players.

Chicago Fire winger David Accam, who missed the Black Stars last call up due to injury has regained his place in the team and would be hoping to take his current swashbuckling form in the MLS to the Black Stars camp.

Accam has recorded seven goals with four assists in the ongoing MLS. The winger has become the fulcrum of the Chicago Fire team, even though his season was blighted with a knee injury that kept him out for at least two months.

He now has 22 goals in all competitions (17 MLS, 5 US Open Cup) since joining the Fire prior to the 2015 season.

Harrison Afful has remained an integral part of the Black Stars and Columbus Crew SC and that is enough justification for his call up.

Former Portland Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey returns to the squad whiles skipper Asamoah Gyan is expected to lead the team that will take on the Amavubi.

Wa All Stars goalie Richard Ofori and Ashantigold’s Kadri Mohammed were the only Ghanaian-based players that were handed call ups for the game.

There was also a late invitation for FC Twente midfielder Yaw Yeboah who replaced injured Jeffrey Schlupp. Schlupp was named in Coach Avram Grant's 23-man squad but the Leicester defender suffered a hamstring injury which has ruled him out of the game.

The Black Stars have already qualified for next year's tournament having amassed thirteen (13) points so far from 5 games played.

Rwandan are second with six points.

Below is the full 23-man squad:

Goalkeepers: Razak Braimah (Cordoba, Spain), Adam Kwarasey (Rosenborg, Norway) Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)

Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew, USA), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City, England), Yaw Yeboa (FC Twente, Holland), Baba Rahman (Schalke, Germany), John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Jonathan Mensah (Anzhi, Russia), Edwin Gyimah (Orlando Pirates, South Africa), Kadri Mohammed (AshantiGold)

Midfielders: Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid, Spain) Samuel Tetteh (Leifering, Austria), Mubarak Wakaso (Panathinaikos, Greece), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), Alfred Duncan (Sassuolo, Italy), Christian Atsu (Chelsea, England)

Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Shanghai SIPG, China), Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa, England), Ebenezer Assifuah (Sion, Switzerland), David Accam (Chicago Fire, USA)
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