Jordan Ayew benched as Ghana take on Mali in crucial World Cup qualifier

Ghana coach Otto Addo has made a bold decision to bench striker Jordan Ayew for the Black Stars’ crucial World Cup qualifier against Mali.

This strategic move sees Mohammed Kudus return to the starting lineup following his impressive debut season with West Ham United.

Kudus will be joined in the attack by Antoine Semenyo and fellow Right to Dream Academy graduate Ernest Nuamah.

In goal, Lawrence Ati-Zigi will continue his duties, demonstrating his reliability with consistent performances for St. Gallen.

The defensive lineup will feature Tariq Lamptey on the right flank and Ligue 2 champion Gideon Mensah on the left. Alexander Djiku, Alidu Seidu, and Mohammed Salisu will form a solid back three, configuring a 3-4-1-2 formation.

In midfield, Thomas Partey, stepping up as captain in the absence of Andre Ayew, will pair with Abdul Salis Samed, providing stability and experience in front of the defense.

The match, set to kick off at 19:00 GMT at the Stade du 26 Mars in Bamako, holds significant importance for the Black Stars. Currently placed fifth in Group I, Ghana needs a victory to improve their standings and boost their chances of qualifying for the 2026 World Cup.

With one win and one loss in their first two qualifiers, Ghana is determined to turn their fortunes around. The team is poised and ready for a tough challenge against Mali, aiming to secure a crucial win and advance up the table.

Jordan Ayew dropped

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