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Ghana to face Mali, Madagascar, and Comoros in qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup

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Ghana to face Mali, Madagascar, and Comoros in qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup

Ghana has been given an advantageous draw to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

The draw took conducted during the 45th Ordinary CAF General Assembly in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, with qualifying set to begin in November 2023.

Ghana will take against Mali. The Black Stars were placed in Pot 2, which meant they might have played tougher opponents like Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, or Nigeria; however, they were pitted against Mali, a side aiming to qualify for their first-ever World Cup.

The group also includes Madagascar, the Central African Republic, the Comoros, and Chad. Ghana has previously played Madagascar and the Central African Republic in Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.

The Black Stars will also be looking for vengeance against Comoros, who upset them 3-2 in Cameroon last year in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ghana has an impressive World Cup resume, having qualified for four of the previous five editions. Their performance at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, however, was underwhelming, as they failed to move past the group stage, losing to Portugal and Uruguay while overcoming South Korea.

The Black Stars will be motivated to qualify for the 2026 tournament and will look to amaze Ghanaians as they did in 2010 when they reached the quarter-finals in South Africa.

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Nine groupings were formed from six teams. The champions of each group will automatically qualify for the World Cup in 2026.

The four best runners-up from each group will compete in a CAF Play-Off competition, with the winner going on to compete in the FIFA Play-Off event.

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Jordan Ayew scores as Crystal Palace defeat Burnley

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Despite their numerical disadvantage, Burnley held on until the 68th minute, when Ayew sent a pinpoint precise cross that defender Chris Richards met with a thumping header into the bottom corner. Just three minutes later, replacement Matheus Franca linked nicely with Tyrick Mitchell down the left wing, and Ayew tapped in his low cross from close range to make it 2-0. After Vitinho fouled Franca, Jean-Philippe Mateta comfortably took a penalty to secure the win.

Crystal Palace secured a crucial victory in their relegation struggle by overcoming 10-man Burnley 3-0 in new manager Oliver Glasner’s first game.

Ghana forward Jordan Ayew scored one of the goals, extending his impressive record in front of goal. He also assisted, bringing his total goal contributions to ten this season.

Palace controlled possession in the first half but were unable to produce clear-cut chances against a determined Burnley defence. The visitors were reduced to ten men just before halftime when Josh Brownhill was awarded a straight red card for taking down Jefferson Lerma when in on goal.

Despite their numerical disadvantage, Burnley held on until the 68th minute, when Ayew sent a precise cross that defender Chris Richards met with a thumping header into the bottom corner.

Just three minutes later, replacement Matheus Franca linked nicely with Tyrick Mitchell down the left wing, and Ayew tapped in his low cross from close range to make it 2-0. After Vitinho fouled Franca, Jean-Philippe Mateta comfortably took a penalty to secure the win.

As Palace grabbed a critical three points, Burnley striker David Datro Fofana had a late goal ruled out for offside. The victory lifts Palace eight points clear of the relegation zone and marks a successful debut for new boss Glasner, who becomes only the second Palace manager to win his first Premier League game in charge.

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Tough test awaits Black Queens against Zambia in Olympics second-leg qualifier

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Notable efforts by players such as Doris Boaduwaa and Evelyn were inadequate to change the tide in favour of the Black Queens. With a 1-0 disadvantage, Ghana have a difficult mountain to climb in the return leg in Ndola if they are to keep their Olympic hopes alive. The vital second leg will take place on Tuesday.

Black Queens suffered a blow in their Olympic qualification campaign, losing 1-0 to Zambia at the Accra Sports Stadium.

In the highly anticipated match, Zambia’s Kundananji delivered the deciding strike with a brilliant chip in the 18th minute, giving the Copper Queens the lead.

Despite Ghana’s outstanding run, which included winning 10 of their past 11 matches, they were unable to overcome Zambia’s early lead.

Notable efforts by players such as Doris Boaduwaa and Evelyn were inadequate to change the tide in favour of the Black Queens.

With a 1-0 disadvantage, Ghana have a difficult mountain to climb in the return leg in Ndola if they are to keep their Olympic hopes alive. The vital second leg will take place on Tuesday.

To overcome the result and go to the next round of qualification for the forthcoming Olympic Games in Paris 2024, the squad must put up a stunning performance.

The winner of the Ghana-Zambia match will play the winner of Tunisia-Morocco in a vital duel for the coveted Olympic place.

As the stakes remain high, the Black Queens must get together and give an outstanding performance in Lusaka to keep their ambitions alive on the path to Paris 2024.

The game against Zambia proved to be the most difficult test for Nora Hauptle, who is credited for reshaping the squad to play entertaining football. Under the Swiss tactician, the squad has lost twice in 12 games.

The Black Queens lost only one other game, the final leg of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) versus Zambia. They lost 1-0 after defeating their opponents 3-1 in Accra.

With the unfortunate result, Hauptle is likely to reorganise the team for a comeback on Tuesday.

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Fire destroys portions of the Youth Resource Center in Navrongo

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The source of the fire has yet to be determined, but gatekeepers believe it devoured the facility through a damaged section of the fence wall. Ngosiwine Gideon, the project manager, provided further facts about the event to 3news.com.

Parts of the unfinished Youth Resource Centre in Navrongo, Kassena-Nankana municipality, Upper East Region, have been damaged by fire.

Several glass panes, PVC pipes, chairs, doors, and electric poles were among the items destroyed in the Sunday morning conflagration at the massive sports centre.

It needed the involvement of the Ghana National Fire Service to put out what could have been a terrible fire.

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The source of the fire has yet to be determined, but gatekeepers believe it devoured the facility through a damaged section of the fence wall.

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Ngosiwine Gideon, the project manager, provided further facts about the event to 3news.com.

“So, it was Monday in the morning, around 10:20 am thereabouts. Because it started from down there, we didn’t get to know it quickly. it was later that I realised it was from down there. Initially, we called the Fire Service, they came, and they put off the fire. When they left, about an hour or 30 minutes later, it started again. That was when we called them, and they said their car got stuck so they couldn’t come. so we had to watch helplessly for the fire to burn,” he recalled.

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