The Black Stars of Ghana took on the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in their second group stages match of the Egypt 2019 African Cup of Nations, was their performance worth writing about? Yes it was.
After 90 minutes of play time, the Ghanaian side were unable to convert any of their chances into goals same as the Cameroonian side.
Some few players deserve a pat on the back for their performance.
Jonathan Mensah played an A game making the necessary tackles as and when needed.
Richard Ofori kept the post as he is supposed to making the important saves to keep Ghana from losing the one point the had from the match.
Kasim Adams had a clear chance to put Ghana in the lead at the initial stages of the game which he missed. That aside he did play some key role in the near solid defence of the Ghanaian side in the match.
Andy Yiadom kept the right back spot clean holding Oyongo and Njie at tied up most times. His near goal chance in the late minutes of the game was great but it went straight into the diving arms of Onana.
Baba Rahman played not only as a left back but mostly as a left winger. He managed to send a good cross to the feet of Jordan Ayew but wasn’t timed well by Jordan so it didn’t end up in the net.
In defence, Baba left the work for Adams most times.
Wakaso did try some long range shots but none found it’s way into the net.
The Thomas Partey that scored braces as a captain in qualifying games isn’t the same Partey at this tournament mainly because he plays right in front of the defenders.
Atsu came off quite early in the game forcing Coach Akwesi Appiah to make an early change and his successor did play well but still could have done better.
Samuel Owusu can do better with time. Jordan and Andre were nothing against the Cameroonian defenders.
These are all quite obvious from the game. Let’s look at what we learnt from the match.
The 4-2-1-2-1 formation left some key players out of the game. From the goal stopper the ball gets to Baba at the wings, this directive from the coach should have been abandoned after 2 tries ended up rolling out of play but the goal stopper kept sending the ball there. Baba was expected after getting a good run, cross the ball to Jordan for a tap-in or a header which is supposed to score. They tried that option all night and it didn’t work out but they were not ready to change the play from the air balls to down balls.
This style leaves Kwadwo Asamoah out of the attack which made him a dead weight in the game.
Adams could also lead the attack by passing to either Partey or Wakaso , any of the two could pass to Andre or Samuel which is still supposed to be sent to Jordan for a goal but most of that ended not in the net so Wakaso started hitting from afar but still nothing to show for it. This style of attack still left Asamoah out of the game and hence he was useless on the left wings in the game.
Ghana lacks some creative players like skipper Stephen Appiah to dribble and create chances, Atsu is expected to fill those boots but he likes kidding around a lot. He needs to wake up.
Maybe the formation needs to be changed but it could clearly be seen the Ghanaian players were struggling to play in their game. There can’t be more complaints since they are professional footballers and should be able to adopt after a month of pre tournament training and two friendly games.
Njie on many times was left to play his game which can be dangerous to the Ghanaian side had he thrived a little.
Basic thing is, the Ghanaian players have been given directives before the match but as players once u try something in the pitch and it doesn’t work, they are expected to play a different game. It is called adaptation but they don’t.
Asamoah being substituted was the best decision on the pitch for the Ghanaian side. But at that point , game should have switched to a 4-4-2 formation to accommodate Gyan at the front of goal but that wasn’t done. At the introduction of Gyan, the Cameroonian coach was forced to make a change to put tabs on Gyan but the Cameroonian substitute came on and gave Ghana a free kick which was wasted. With 5 mins left on the clock Adre was subbed for Kwabena to come on , Kwabena had a clear chance to put his name on the score sheet but be went for power instead of placing.
Yiadom also wasted his chance to out Ghana ahead. Partey was not thinking straight. As the game was dying out, the Ghanaian side decided to play hard instead of smart which was not the best to do at the time. The air balls are good and modern in today’s football but for the Ghanaian side, the coach needs to change his style of play. More short passes and more one touch balls when close to opposition players. With just Guinea Bissau to play, Ghana can be on their way home. Cameroon are ahead with 4 points, Ghana and Benin tie with just 2 points each and Guinea Bissau trailing behind with a point. We need to start Gyan, Kwabena Owusu, move Partey to a more offensive position, keep Baba and Asamoah in their roles. Just maybe we can get some more goals and qualify ahead of Benin should they lose to Cameroon.
As I end, I think @KSM_Kwaku_Misa spoke for Ghanaians when he tweeted “I am sorry, I don’t give a hoot about your efforts. To hell with efforts, give me results.” To the Black stars and Coach Akwesi Appiah, we know you are doing your best but we need results.
‘We take 13 players this time and two play only against Eden’: Jurgen Klopp jokes about plan to stop Hazard as Liverpool prepare to have title credentials tested against Chelsea
The Reds face a serious test in their bid for a first league title in 29 years with Chelsea needing a win to strengthen their case for a top four finish.
Hazard is a man in form, dazzling in a recent win over West Ham at Stamford Bridge, and having netted a stunner at Anfield earlier this season to knock Liverpool out of the Carabao Cup, Klopp is well aware of the difficulties in stopping him.
When asked by reporters if he had devised a specific plan solely on Hazard, the former Borussia Dortmund coach laughed, before joking he was going to make it 13 against 11.
‘We take 13 players this time and two play only against Eden,’ Klopp said.
‘The best way to try and make sure he cannot play as he is able to is to avoid passes to him, that’s how it is. We must react better than other teams did – I would never say it is easy.
‘You need to try and read the game, read the passes but in the end in a one-on-one situation you cannot defend him. I like footballers like this so if he plays his best game we have to live with that.’
Hazard is being monitored closely by Real Madrid ahead of the summer with his contract at Chelsea close to expiry.
His form this season has once again been impressive and Liverpool, having seen Hazard change the game off the bench back in September.
For Klopp, there is no question whatsoever that the crafty Belgian can, on any given day, be the best player in the world.
‘He is really pure, a really good player but Hazard we don’t have to talk about that,’ the Liverpool boss added when pressed on facing the player this weekend.
‘On his day he can be the world’s best immediately. He has had a brilliant career so far. He has a lot of things I like in football. He has joy, cheeky as well, strong, quick and yeah he is a good player.
‘All good players have to play against us as well so we have to try and deny everything in his skills.’
Hazard is the key man helping push Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea side into the Champions League spots come the end of the season and currently posts 19 goals and 12 assists in all competitions this season.
Liverpool could go into Sunday’s game in second if Manchester City, who face Crystal Palace earlier in the day, win their game to return, at least temporarily to the summit.
The Reds currently hold a two-point advantage over Pep Guardiola’s City side but have played a game more and Klopp is under no illusions that his side cannot afford to concede points so late in the campaign.
Photos pop up of Jerome Boateng and his daughters enjoying the holidays in Ghana
German international of Ghanaian parentage, Jerome Boateng is in Ghana for the first time in his life. The Bayern Munich ace is celebrating the Christmas holidays in Ghana with is two daughters Soley and Lamia, as well as his sister,Avelina.
Boateng started his career at Hertha BSC where he developed from the youth ranks to the main team. After his first season at Hertha, he soon signed for Hamburger SV and established himself as an integral part of the team, helping Hamburg reach the two consecutive UEFA Europa League semi-finals. After one season in England with Manchester City, he joined Bayern Munich in 2011 and has since won domestic and European honours with the club, notably the continental treble in the 2012–13 season.
UDS JUSTIFIES: TAMALE IS UNSTOPPABLE AS THEY DEFEAT WA 3-0
Tamale won their first game against Navrongo 1-0 leaving many of the Navrongo team in awe of their coordination and ball control.
Majority of the spectators expected to see more of that classic football from them and they didn’t disappoint.
The Wa team played their best trying to match up to the brilliance of the Tamale side but the Tamale team will have none of that.
David Abagna opened the scoreline with a brilliant strike. He gave his side the cushioning they needed with a second goal.
Mohammed Hamza made it 3 in the second half making it hopeless for the Wa team to regroup and bounce back into the game.
Captain Inusah Kamil from the Tamale team said most of the players they fielded for the Navrongo clash were not used against Wa. He explained that they wanted the new recruits to also have a feel of the game and that was the results of the game.
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