“Ghana coach has invited goalkeeper Richard Ofori for Nigeria clash,” Orlando Pirates coach confirms

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The Buccaneers boss has confirmed that the shot-stopper will play for Ghana in the next international break

Orlando Pirates coach Mandla Ncikazi has revealed that goalkeeper Richard Ofori has been called for the 2022 Fifa World Cup playoffs against Nigeria in a fortnight.

The 27-year-old, who made a return onto the field for first time since November last year, when Pirates humiliated Royal Leopards 3-0 in the Caf Confederation Cup last weekend.

Although, the Black Stars list hasn’t been made official by Ghana FA, Ofori’s inclusion has been confirmed by his coach at the club level.

“Ofori is a top professional, Ghana selected him without playing a game. I was surprised.” Ncikazi told the South African media in an interview.

“You could just see the confidence he brings and breathes around the defence and I’m sure he is going to lessen the leaking of goals at Pirates because more than the fact that we are not scoring we are also letting in goals and I’m sure it’s going to improve,” he added.

Reports also suggest that Ghana coach Otto Addo has named Dutch-born of Ghanaian descent Leeroy Owusu in the Black Stars squad to face Nigeria.

The 25-year-old defender is believed to have been called as a replacement to former Dreams FC right-back Philimon Baffour, who is reportedly dropped from the squad after failing to make a single appearance at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations held in Cameroon.

Owusu, who was born to Ghanaian parents in Netherlands, has previously represented Netherlands at the youth level. However, he has made 23 league appearances for Willem II in Dutch Eredivisie this season and Ghana FA has reportedly succeeded in his national switch with FIFA.

Also, Elisha Owusu and Antoine Semenyo are also believed been called for the game.

During last week, reports emerged that Otto Addo has dropped seven players who were part of the Black Stars squad that participated in 2021 Africa Cup of Nations ahead of the game.

Notable among the names dropped include Andre Ayew and box-to-box midfielder Wakaso Mubarak who could not kick a ball at the Afcon due to injury concerns.

Ayew, in particular, has been dropped because of suspension as he picked a red card against Comoros in the final game of the group stage at the Afcon.

Also, former Dreams FC player Philimon Baffour who has constantly been chastised by Ghanaians for his inclusion in the Black Stars has finally been dropped alongside RTU midfielder David Abagna Sandan.

Also, Yeni Malatyspor striker Benjamin Tetteh has been dropped following his ban by CAF after he was captured on camera for hitting a Gabonese player at the Afcon.

The others include Great Olympics forward Maxwell Abbey Quaye and St. Gallen goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi for poor run of performance. The shot-stopper, in particular, has been constantly conceding goals (44) in 23 games in the Swiss Premier League

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