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Black Stars Vs Egypt: Match Overview and Takeaways

Black Stars Vs Egypt: Match Overview and Takeaways

The Black Stars of Ghana faced the Pharaohs of Egypt in a thrilling match that ended all square with a 2-2. Both teams were looking to grab their first victory of the tournament, seemed the two teams were evenly matched. In a surprising turn of events, Cape Verde are still Group B leaders even before playing their second match in a Group where the two highly favoured giants, Ghana and Egypt, have played two rounds of group matches. The game was exhilarating for neutral fans but full of emotions for fans in both countries. Ghanaian fans were very excited after half time but felt disappointed in the team’s performance and the players’ tendencies to commit errors during the second half of the game.

Match Overview

The Black Stars of Ghana, started the game very strongly in the first half and even had an opportunity to take the lead in the opening 10 minutes. However, the Pharaohs took control of most of the possession after the opening 10 minutes but could not create good chances and initiate enough threats towards the Ghanaian national team. Their talisman, Mohammed Salah, appeared to be lost in the game courtesy of Gideon Mensah’s solid marking. Salah eventually left the match following an injury towards the end of the first half after which the Black stars took the lead during the third minute of additional time after the 45th minute. The acclaimed Star Boy, Mohammed Kudus hit a long range shot that hit the bottom left corner of the net to give Ghana the lead and also registering his debut goal in the AFCON tournament.

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Mo kudus goal
Mo kudus goal

Ghana returned in the second half very shaky as the team decided to lay back and defend their lead. The Egyptians, however, came into the game strongly and looked more threatening than they did in the first half resulting in a disallowed goal and eventually taking the lead due to an error by Inaki whose weak back pass to his keeper was intercepted and finished by Omar Marmush.

egypt
egypt

Fortunately, Ghana quickly fired back when a clever cut back pass from Dennis Odoi into the Egyptian box found Kudus and led to a second goal for the West Ham player and the Black Stars. Five minutes later, Ghana’s substitute, Osman Bukari was dispossessed by Trezeguet who squared the ball to his teammate, Mostafa Mohammed, punishing the Black Stars and drawing the game level. A fascinating decision by Chris Hughton was his substitution of Osman Bukari from the game, minutes after he was brought on the pitch. Hughton’s post- match interviews suggest that it was a matter of “A lack of self-confidence” after Osman Bukari’s error that informed his decision to substitute him 15 minutes after he came on.

 

Take aways

  • It appears that Ghana is still facing Defensive issues similar to what was identified in the Cape Verde game. However, there was a bit of improvement from Gideon Mensah in the Egypt game. Dennis Odoi continues to be the weak link in the defensive set up as opponents continue to exploit his lack of positional awareness.

 

  • The midfield improved considerably compared to Cape Verde’s game until Ashimeru was substituted from the game. Baba Iddrisu’s inclusion did not help the team exposed our midfield which gave Egypt control of the game.
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  • Again, Dennis Odoi’s defensive limitations forces our attackers to drop back and cover for him when the opponents are on the attack. This play resulted in two errors from two of Ghana’s attackers (Willams and Bukari) leading to both Egyptian goals.
odoi vs egypt
odoi vs egypt

 

  • Jordan’s consistent “foul-baiting” plays disrupt Ghana’s breaks on the counter. Winning a foul might be a good thing but to what extent? These fouls allow sometime for the opponents to regroup, making it difficult to create good chances in the long run.
Jordan in possession of the ball
Jordan in possession of the ball

 

  • Bukari’s introduction looked very good on paper but cost Ghana the game. Nevertheless, his substitution from the game might have been a bad decision. A professional player who plays in top flight European football would not lose confidence after an error because he definitely understands that errors do happen in professional football, and a player must redeem himself at all cost to make up for them. Therefore, substituting him from the game minutes after he was brought on does not do him any favours, but rather damages his confidence.

 

 

  • There were suggestions of a 3-4-3 formation with the introduction of Amartey as a third center back, transforming our full backs into wing backs. This may be commendable as it might mitigate our defensive woes especially on Odoi’s side of the pitch.

 

  • Salis and Ashimeru are still our best midfield combination going forward, following Partey’s absence from the team.

 

 

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