Ayew brothers pull out of Congo clash

Ghana attacker Andre Ayew JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Ghana's slim chances of a fourth consecutive World Cup appearance have suffered a further blow after four players pulled out of Tuesday's 2018 qualifier against Congo.

This is a massive setback after the sides drew the first game 1-1 in Kumasi on the weekend, knocking Ghana's already slim chances of topping the group and qualifying for Russia.

Captain Asamoah Gyan and defender Harrison Afful will travel with the rest of the squad to Brazzaville, but will not take part in the game because of injuries.

The Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, are not travelling with the side for various reasons. West Ham's Andre has informed the Ghana technical team that he has a muscle strain and cannot play, while his brother Jordan of Swansea City has cited a stomach upset as the reason he cannot take part, according to Ghana Football Association communications director Ibrahim Sannie Daara.

The pullouts leave Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah with 19 players for the trip, including Stuttgart midfielder Ebenezer Ofori who is making the trip despite reportedly being robbed at gunpoint on Monday night.

Ghana trail Group E leaders Uganda by five points and Egypt by four points after picking up just two points from their first three games of the qualifiers.