Columbus Crew SC full back Harrison Afful is set to join the Black Stars as they represent Ghana ahead of a 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying match against Egypt on Sunday in Cape Coast, Ghana, their last match of the final group stage of qualification.
Afful has earned 75 caps for Ghana, with the most recent being a World Cup Qualifier match on the road against Congo on September 5, which resulted in a 5-1 victory for the Black Stars.
Ghana is currently in the Group E of the CAF Final Group Stage qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup along with Egypt, Uganda and Congo. The Black Stars are currently in third place of the group with a 1-3-1 record.
The 31-year-old defender is a two-time World Cup veteran, having been a member of Ghana’s roster during their 2010 and 2014 runs in the tournament.
In Ghana’s 2014 World Cup run, Afful played a vital role in what resulted in a 2-2 draw against Germany. With both sides running low on energy in a humid Estadio Castelao, Afful seemed to be the only man on the pitch that was unwavering as he continued to charge up and down the right side to send deadly crosses. An Afful cross to the box found Andre Ayew’s head, equalizing for the Black Stars.
Afful not only brings speed and stamina, but also a remarkable technical ability that was especially evident in Columbus Crew SC’s Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against New York City FC. In the second minute of second half stoppage time, Afful managed to intercept a pass outside of NYCFC’s box, outmaneuver four opponents, and found enough space to send the ball to the back of the net making the final score 4-1. Little did anyone know at the time, Afful’s last minute goal was Crew SC’s golden ticket to pass the Eastern Conference Semifinals and onto the Conference Championship round.
Harrison Afful and the rest of the Black & Gold will return to MAPFRE Stadium to host Toronto FC for Leg 1 of the Eastern Conference Championship on November 21 for an 8 p.m. ET kickoff.