Black Stars celebrate Jordan Ayew goal

Opinion: Ghana fails to fully impress against Canada

If I am permitted to be a bit arrogant, then I would say without fear or favour that Canada is not a team Ghana should be drawing 1-1 with, even in a friendly.

Nowadays however, no team is a minnow anymore and so perhaps I am being disrespectful to the Canadians. Maybe it’s because I expected a lot more from the Black Stars after seeing the starting lineup.

Some might plead mitigating circumstances because several first teamers could not get visas to travel to the United States, but I was happy because head coach Avram Grant would have to give several fringe players a chance.

I am getting a little worried by Razak Braimah.

He still remains a good goalkeeper but his propensity to concede goals from long range is a concern.

Remember the goal he conceded against South Africa during this year’s African Nations Cup tournament? He also conceded a similar long range shot when Ghana lost 1-2 to Senegal in a recent friendly.

He pulled off some good saves but seems to lack concentration when the ball is not too close to the penalty area. Intelligent players would spot this and take advantage, as Marcel de Jong did.

The reconstructed back four didn’t do too badly except for a few nervous moments when the central defensive pair of John Boye and Edwin Gyimah were trying to build an understanding.

Jeffrey Schlupp looked good and perhaps that is a reason why Gideon Baah could not get his long awaited Ghana debut.

The Leicester City player is improving steadily and if Baba Rahman continues to struggle for game time at Chelsea, Schlupp could oust him at left back.

Emmanuel Agyemang Badu had a game of two halves but would still need to add discipline to his runs, whilst Mubarak Wakaso shone in bits of the game.

The attacking trio of goal scorer Albert Adomah, Bernard Mensah and David Accam did not provide Jordan Ayew with much service and so the Aston Villa striker was starved of service and for me, he looks better with a partner up front than on his own.

It was good to see Abdul Majeed Waris putting himself about when he came on, except that he couldn’t score, whilst Lloyd Sam impressed when he came on. Philemon Ofosu Ayeh also did enough to show that he could be a back up to Harrison Afful and Kwadwo Poku showed enthusiasm in his brief cameo.

Afriyie Acquah came off the bench to add a bit of steel but he should have done better with some chances he had to score.

Of course, questions would arise as to why Ghana had to go all the way to Washington to play a friendly against Canada, but in part, it was a useful work out for some of the fringe players.

Again, Ghana’s record in friendly games is not looking too impressive these days, even though some would argue that such games are not about results. Personally though, it is good to win such games to give the players confidence going forward.

The major concern here is that goals were hard to come by and perhaps Grant may want to study the system and personnel he uses, especially with upcoming AFCON and World Cup qualifiers in the offing.

 

By Christopher Opoku