PPL Park to host Ghana-Chile February 29
- Updated: February 18, 2012
PPL Park will host an international exhibition match between the national teams of Ghana and Chile on February 29, it was announced today. Kick off is set for 7:00 p.m. EST.
“We’re excited to begin 2012 with another high-quality international game,” said Union CEO & Operating Partner Nick Sakiewicz. “We’ve committed to bringing world-class soccer to the Philadelphia region as part of our partnership with the Eagles, and we’ve done that once again with two teams that advanced past the group stage of the 2010 World Cup.”
Highlighted by FC Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez and Monterrey forward Humberto Suazo, Chile qualified for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, winning their first two group stage matches against Honduras and Switzerland before falling 2-1 to eventual tournament winner Spain. With a 2-0-1 group stage record, Chile advanced to the Round of 16, in which they were eliminated by Brazil.
Currently ranked 12th in the most recent FIFA World Rankings, Chile has appeared in eight World Cup tournaments, with their highest finish coming as host country in 1962.
Led by Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien and Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan (currently on loan to Emirati club Al Ain), Ghana is also coming off a successful 2010 World Cup in which they became just the third African team in history to reach the quarterfinals. After advancing past the group stage with a 1-1-1 record, losing only to Germany, the Black Stars beat the U.S. Men’s National Team 2-1 in the Round of 16 on goals from AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng and Gyan. Ghana also eliminated the U.S. in the 2006 World Cup by the same 2-1 scoreline, the first time Ghana qualified for the senior FIFA World Cup. Ghana was the only African team to advance past the group stage of the 2006 World Cup.
Currently ranked 23rd in the FIFA World Rankings, Ghana has won the Africa Cup of Nations four times (1963, 1965, 1978, and 1982), the most of any country other than Egypt.
UPDATE: Both countries’ top stars have been confirmed to play. Ghananian players confirmed include: Andre Dede Ayew (Marseille, France), Michael Essien (Chelsea), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain UEA), and John Mensah (Lyon). Chilean players confirmed include: Matías Fernández (Sporting Clube de Portugal), Eduardo Vargas (Napoli), Humberto Suazo (Monterrey, Mexico) and Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona).
Ghana-Chile will be the sixth international soccer match played at PPL Park since the stadium’s opening in June of 2010. The Union squared off against Celtic and Chivas de Guadalajara in 2010, winning both contests 1-0, and against Everton in 2011, also a 1-0 Union victory. Additionally, the U.S. Men’s National Team played to a 0-0 draw with Colombia on October 12, 2010, while the U.S Women’s National Team played to a 1-1 draw against China five days earlier.
Ghana-Chile will be the tenth international match played as part of the partnership between the Union and Eagles. In addition to the matches played at PPL Park, four games have been played at Lincoln Financial Field. The Union have faced Manchester United and Real Madrid, losing 1-0 and 2-1, and the U.S. Men’s National Team has faced Turkey (2-1 win) and Mexico (1-1 draw).