The Black Stars were drawn to face Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in the group stages of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The draw pit Ghana against some painfully familiar foes.
So how often have the Black Stars taken on their group mates and how did they fare in those encounters?
vs Portugal (1 match – 0 wins – 1 loss)
Portugal 2-1 Ghana (2014 World Cup)
Ghana will not have the fondest memories of facing Portugal. Their only meeting was at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
A John Boye own goal gave Portugal a first-half lead.
Asamoah Gyan (who else) equalised for the Black Stars in the second half but an 80th-minute Cristiano Ronaldo finish ended Ghana’s World Cup hopes.
That, however, wasn’t the biggest story of the game as just hours earlier there was doubt as to whether the Black Stars players would even turn up to the match.
A plane carrying about $4 million dollars in cash was infamously flown to Brazil to pay the players’ bonuses, which convinced them to finally play the game.
Prior to that, a bust-up in camp resulted in two of Ghana’s most influential players at the time, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari, being frozen out of the squad.
Ghana Team: Dauda, Afful, Boye, Mensah, Asamoah, Atsu, Rabiu, Agyemang-Badu, Andre Ayew, Waris, Gyan. Subs: Adams, Inkoom, Opare, Essien, Afriyie, Jordan Ayew, Adomah, Sumaila, Wakaso, Kwarasey.
vs South Korea (4 matches – 3 wins – 1 loss)
South Korea 1-3 Ghana (June 2006 International Friendly)
Both the Black Stars and the South Koreans saw this match as a great opportunity to prepare for the World Cup in Germany.
It was the Black Stars who came out victorious, however, and emphatically so.
Asamoah Gyan gave Ghana a first-half lead from the penalty spot but South Korea equalised through Eul-Yong Lee four minutes after the break.
The Black Stars took control with further goals from Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari sealing a 3-1 win for Ghana.
Ghana: Kingson (Adjei, h-t); Pantsil, Mensah, Alhassan, Pappoe; Addo; Appiah, Essien, Muntari; Gyan, Amoah (Pimpong, 81). Subs not used: Sarpei, Kuffour, Boateng, Tachie-Mensah, Mohammed, Quaye, Owu, Addo, Ahmed, Dramani.
South Korea 1-3 Ghana (October 2006 International Friendly)
After the emphatic loss against the Black Stars before the World Cup, South Korea were hoping to right the wrongs in a post-World Cup friendly.
The results were however the same.
Asamoah Gyan put Ghana ahead with a thumping header early in the second half.
The Black Stars doubled their advantage 10 minutes later from a corner, which Michael Essien headed into the back of the net.
South Korea pulled one goal back but Asamoah Gyan scored a wonderful solo effort to give Ghana yet another 3-1 win.
Black Stars team: Richard Kingson, Illiasu Shilla, Hans Sarpei, Habib Mohammed, John Mensah, Sulley Ali Muntari 88′, Laryea Kingston 84′, Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah, Asamoah Gyan 88′, Junior Agogo 65′
Substitutes: Eric Addo 84′, Dramani Haminu 88′, Derek Asamoah 88′, Razak Pimpong
South Korea 2-1 Ghana (June 2011 International Friendly)
After suffering two straight losses, the South Koreans picked up their first win over Ghana in another international friendly.
Ji Dong-Won scored a 10th-minute goal for the Koreans and it wasn’t until the 64th minute that Asamoah Gyan scored Ghana’s equaliser.
Koo Ja-Cheol broke Ghanaian hearts with a 91st-minute winner for South Korea.
Ghana team: R. Kingson, J. Paintsil, I. Vorsah, K. Asamoah, J. Mensah, D. Opare, S. Muntari, A. Annan, E. Agyemang-Badu, A. Gyan, A. Opoku
Subs: D. Addy Substituted for D. Opare 53′, D. Adiyiah Substituted for K. Asamoah 56′, D. Boateng Substituted for S. Muntari 63′, E. Clottey Substituted for A. Opoku 74′, L. Addy Substituted for E. Agyemang-Badu 87′
Coach: G. Stevanović
Ghana 4-0 South Korea (June 2014 International Friendly)
The Black Stars picked up their biggest-ever win over South Korea in another pre-World Cup friendly in 2014.
Sixth-minute substitute Jordan Ayew was on fire as he scored a hat-trick with Asamoah Gyan also scoring his fifth goal against the Koreans.
Ghana Team: F. Dauda, J. Boye, K. Asamoah, J. Mensah, H. Afful, M. Rabiu, S. Muntari, K. Boateng, A. Ayew, A. Gyan, A. Waris
Substitutes: A. Acquah 59′, Stephen Adams, A. Adomah 74′, E. Agyemang-Badu 59′, C. Atsu 56′, J. Ayew 6′, M. Essien, S. Inkoom, A. Kwarasey, D. Opare, R. Sumaila, M. Wakaso 64′
Head coach: James Kwasi Appiah
vs Uruguay (1 match – 0 wins – 1 loss (on penalties)
Without a doubt the most painful loss in Ghana’s history.
The Black Stars were on the verge of becoming the first African nation to reach a World Cup semi-final when Dominic Adiyiah’s stoppage-time header in extra-time seemed destined to go in with the match level at 1-1.
Up stepped Luis Suarez to bat the ball away with his hands, resulting in a red card for the forward and a penalty for Ghana.
Asamoah Gyan, usually Mr. Reliable, unfortunately, hit the bar, taking the game into penalties which the Black Stars lost.
Revenge might definitely be on the cards when the Stars take on Uruguay at the 2022 World Cup in December.