In their attempt to qualify for the 2026 World Cup, which will be co-hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada, Ghana have been given a favorable draw.

The qualifiers are set to start in November 2023, and the draw was held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, following the 45th Ordinary CAF General Assembly.

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Mali will play Ghana. The Black Stars were drawn against Mali, a team aiming to qualify for their first World Cup, despite being in Pot 2, where they might have faced tougher opponents like Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Senegal, or Nigeria.

The group also includes Chad, the Comoros, Madagascar, and the Central African Republic. Since Ghana faced both Madagascar and the Central African Republic in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches, they are both familiar to them.

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The Comoros team upset the Black Stars 3-2 in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon the previous year. The Black Stars will be seeking vengeance against Comoros.

Ghana has a rich World Cup history, having participated in four of the previous five competitions. They didn’t make it past the group stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, losing to Uruguay and Portugal but overcoming South Korea, which was disheartening.

As they did in 2010, when they advanced to the quarterfinals in South Africa, Black Stars will be driven to earn a spot in the tournament in 2026.

Nine groups made up of six teams were created. Each group’s winner will automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

The victor of the CAF Play-Off competition will advance to the FIFA Play-Off tournament, which will feature the four best runners-up from each group.

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