The Black Meteors of Ghana begun their campaign in the CAF U23 AFCON with a 1-1 stalemate against Cameroon on Friday night. It is a fair result considering the fact Cameroon for long periods of the game were the better side.
Ibrahim Tanko’s side conceded the first goal in the 58th minute as Ghana’s goalkeeper, Kwame Baah was caught ball watching when Bayern Munich’s Frank Evina scored a stunning free-kick.
After several unsuccessful attempts at goal, Ghana finally restored parity through Asante Kotoko’s Habib Mohammed who scored a scrambled goal in the 87th minute.
Rigobert Song’s charges later piled pressure on the Ghanaian team but were
Here are five things we learned from the game.
Habib Mohammed shows his good and bad sides
The Asante Kotoko budding star was the man of the moment for the team after scoring the all-important goal which got the team the needed point to stay in the competition. When all the strikers and potential goal scorers went to bed it was the defender who overlapped his boundaries as a defender to score the needed goal.
However, it was the same Habib Mohammed to sold Ghana out by committing an avoidable free kick from twenty yards which was superbly finished off by Frank Evina.
It’s shocking to watch the replay of the free-kick that led to the Cameroon goal and noting that the 6-man defensive wall failed to jump when the free-kick was lashed. The defensive paring of Edward Sarpong, Kingsley Fobi, Fuseini Zackaria and Habib Mohammed did more harm than good to the team as they allowed the opponents to penetrate into Ghana’s penalty box with through balls and crosses from every area. Habib and Zacharia who manned the 4 and 5 positions were weak. The Left and Right backs were also quite unsuccessful with their tackles which made the opponents go-ahead to whip in dangerous crosses.
Kwabena Owusu must let his experience count
As the leading goal scorer and striker for the team, he was expected to rise to the occasion to at least create chances or cause more danger to the opponents. However, the striker did not rise to the occasion as his shots went wide and fans were often tired of his long shots which exposed Ghana’s weak attacking strategy.
For someone who has had a chance to play for the Black Stars, it is fair to expect more from him at this tournament.
Man of The Match Evans Mensah is a future star
Talented Ghanaian winger, Evans Mensah, was declared the best player on the pitch. The starlet winger who plies his trade with HJK Helsinki in Finland dazzled on the field with great runs and lovely skill won the heart of many spectators who witnessed the game. The 21-year-old player was involved in most of Ghana’s chances and created a few free-kick opportunities for the team.
Hopefully, the winger will be instrumental in Ghana’s next game against hosts Egypt with his side needing a good result to keep up their hopes of progressing from the group.
Tanko’s men showed Resilience
Tanko’s men showed enough resilience in the game despite going down in the opening minutes of second half. The team created the most chances in the game but wasted most of the. Out of the 12 shots on goal, the team managed to get only 2 on target. Even though they were a goal down, the team kept their focus on and played according to Tanko’s tactics. It’s not surprising the coach hailed his team with the following words, “I take this as a good result. We trailed but my players showed character to return to the game.”
The Black Meteors come up against The Olympic Pharoahs on Monday who sit top of the group with 3 points following the lone victory over Mali in the opening game.