We’re past the halfway point of the Interlull. We saw some interesting matches Friday and Saturday. There’s less to watch today–then no games tomorrow, but a whole slate of interesting ones on Tuesday. Here are the two we choose for today,
Sunday, March 27:
The one getting all the attention is Scotland hosting A Seleção..in London (?):
Scotland-Brazil at Emirates in London (ESPN2, 9amET): See our Sao Paulo-based correspondent’s rundown of the newish Seleção here. We don’t much about the Scottish side. If you really want a preview of them, listen to the segment on this week’s Guardian Football Weekly Extra pod, wherein they get Scotsman Ewan Murray on the phone in order to discuss the match.
But we’re equally intrigued by this match in Brazzaville–we’re just not sure if we’ll get to watch it:
Congo-Ghana in Brazzaville (no US TV): An interesting Cup of African Nation qualifier. Ghana may be looking past the Congo to Tuesday’s match against England at Wembley.
Note that this match is being hosted by the Republic of Congo in the capital city of Brazzaville. As Wikipedia points out the Republic of Congo is “Not to be confused with the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo.” Which is exactly what we did at first, thinking we’d refer you this post we did on TP Mazembe back in December, when they surprised the footballing world by advancing to the finals of the Club World Cup. But TP Mazembe is of course in the DR Congo. So all we can do on Congo is excerpt Goal.com’s match preview:
Congo are a team under construction hence a lot of young players with few experience faces. Captain Christopher Samba of Blackburn Rovers would have a lot on his shoulders as they meet the ever popular Black Stars. They are just a point adrift the west Africans and a little effort from his troops coupled with the home support could do the trick for them.
Coach Camille Ngakosso would also rely heavily on striker Ibara Franchel, the 2007 CAF Young Player of the Year award winner and Switzerland-based Matt Moussilou to frustrate the current Africa best team at the Alphonse Massamba Debat Stadium.
For info on Ghana see our copious coverge of the Black Stars: here (for the Ghana starting XI vs Uruguay in the World Cup last July); here (for video of the Asamoah Gyan Dance); and here (for background about young up-&-coming striker Andre Ayew–son of the greatest Ghanaian player of all time, Abedi (Ayew) Pele). We may see Gyan and Ayew partner up front in an exciting Ghanaian strikeforce (if not in Brazzaville, then maybe in London on Tuesday).
Ghana is clearly the highest profile side on the continent, after their inspiring showing in South Africa last summer. They boast a squad filled with players playing club ball at the highest levels: Michael Essien, Asamoah Gyan, Sulley Muntari John Painstil, John Mensah, Richard Kingson (all Premier League); youngsters Kevin-Prince Boateng, Kwadwo Asamoah and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (all Serie A, the latter two at Udinese); ; Isaac Vorsah and Anthony Annan in the Bundesliga (Hoffenheim and Schalke 04, respectively); and Derek Boateng in La Liga (Getafe). See here for a list of the full squad.
Since there doesn’t appear to be any US television coverage (not sure about Europe?), one way to follow the match is via @GaryAlSmith’s Twitter stream–he is all about African football, and it appears he’s actually in Ghana. Here is his Twitter bio:
garyalsmith: AFRICA = African Football Remains In Corrupt Administration….but…All Football Remains In Correspondence Always.