Ghana lost to Kenya in their second group game in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign.
An own goal from defender Nicholas Opoku gave the Kenyans their first three points in Group F.
Joy Sports Benedict Owusu who watched the game at the Kasarani Stadium in Nairobi has put together five key talking points from the game.
GHANA STILL IN SEARCH OF A POTENT GOAL SCORER
Black Stars skipper Asamoah Gyan has proven over the years that he is one of the best players/strikers Ghana has ever produced. No need to talk too much about Gyan’s achievement for Ghana but we have still not been able to identify the next Gyan should the 32-year old finally hang his boots. With the Kayserispor player missing in Ghana’s game against Kenya, the Black Stars after creating so many chances were hugely disappointing in front of goal. Striker Majeed Waris and Raphael Dwamena still made Gyan look good even in his recent days of injuries and inconsistency at club level.
2. IMPRESSIVE ANDY YIADOM HAS A BRIGHT FUTURE
Right back Andy Yiadom was Ghana’s best player on the pitch in the game. He showed a level none of the players exhibited in the game.
The Reading player proved to be the only player with a sense of purpose in the game, was very decisive with his passes and movement was a delight to watch.
His level showed a player who has been playing week in week out for his club and when I thought he was out of gas, that was when the young man proved to be strong and quick.
If he stays fit and keeps his consistency, Andy will stay with the national team for a very long time.
3. BEAUTIFUL FOOTBALL DOESN’T ALWAYS WIN GAMES
Often times, people who watch football will applaud to a team’s passing and ability to keep the ball more in a game, but what is the benefit if that team is not able to score on the day.
A similar thing happened to the Black Stats as the dominated the game with possession of 61%.
Coach Kwasi Appiah and the players must know that at times it is good to win ugly especially when you come up against sides like Kenya.
This is a big lesson and as midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah stated in an interview ” this is a wake-up call for the team.
4. DANIEL OPARE WAS LOST AT LEFT BACK
Daniel Opare is known as a right back but with no natural left back in the team, coach Kwasi Appiah had to improvise and use the Belgian based player at left back.
That decision backfired as the former FC Porto player showed he would have been better off in his natural position.
Baba Rahman has returned from injury and Lumor Agbenyenu was injured prior to this game so Opare who had played that role before was handed that task, but he failed to deliver.
Opare had to be replaced in the second half by Harrison Afful, who has not played in the left back position for a long time.
5. CHRISTIAN ATSU NEEDS TO SIT UP AND NEEDS MORE PLAYING TIME AT NEWCASTLE UNITED
Christian Atsu when Kwasi Appiah first introduced him in the Black Stars was a delight to watch, his runs and decision making brilliant, but it looks like the 25-year old is gradually losing it.
Atsu ordinarily would have carried the team and ensured at least not less than 2 goals were scored but he was just a passenger in the game as his runs and decision making were suspect.
He needs to prove at club level where it is becoming increasingly difficult to get playing time why Kwasi Appiah must overlook other players and still be inviting him into the Black Stars.