Playing some delightful football particularly in the first half, Kwasi Appiah’s side brushed aside their opponents emphatically, kicking off qualifying for the AFCON tournament in 2019 in style.
The first game of Appiah’s second stint unveiled a number of interesting details, and Citi Sports picks out the best of the bunch:
Massive Crowd Support
The return of Kwasi Appiah as the Black Stars head coach seems to have reignited the nation’s love for the team. The attendance at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium was something we haven’t seen in a very long while.
The stadium was packed and the fans were on their feet cheering for the entire 90 minutes.
Kwasi Appiah’s starting lineup on the day proved that no player is guaranteed a starting place.
The exclusion of players like Jordan Ayew and Afriyie Acquah from the starting lineup coupled with the inclusion of four debutants was a clear and strong message from the head coach: everyone has to earn their place.
Team for the future
Kwasi Appiah promised at his unveiling he intended to build a formidable team for the future that would stand the test of time. Five of the the First XI against Ethiopia were aged 23 or under. Dwamena (21) who got a brace and Thomas Agyapong (20) were some of the standout performers on the day, and showed that Kwasi Appiah is a man with a clear plan.
The head coach also promised to produce good attacking football in his second stint in charge and it showed on the day. A delightful attacking display on the day which was duly rewarded with five unanswered goals made the team a joy to behold. This is the first time Ghana has scored more than four goals in a competitive encounter since beating Egypt 6-1 in 2013.
Competition for Places
The game against Ethiopia showed the strength in depth of the Black Stars Squad. The team was ruthless in their display even though it was missing a few of the usual starters in the squad. Every player on the pitch demonstrated they deserved their starting place in the team.
Going forward, that would present stiff competition for places in the team. The so-called fringe players would be buoyed by the fact that the team now seems to be based on merit rather than past reputation.