The Black Stars opened their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification campaign with a resounding 5-0 spanking of the Walia Antelopes of Ethiopia at the Babayara sports stadium, a game watched by some 40 000 strong crowd.
Captain Asamoah Gyan,Switzerland-based Raphael Dwamena, central defender John Boye and Ebenezer Ofori of Stuttgart scored the goals for Ghana but Sportsworldghana.com’s Gariba Raubil rates the performances of the Black Stars players against Ethiopia – ranked 35th best national team in Africa.
GK Richard Ofori – 6.5
Kept a clean sheet and controlled his defence and read the game very well as he came out of his restricted zone to make couple of clearances. His last minute super save drew big applause from the home crowd.
RB Harrison Afful – 6.5
Was not put under any huge threat by the Ethipian left winger Getaneh Kebede and was effective when he motored down the right flank as he provided the assist for Ebenezer Ofori to register the 3rd Black Stars goal -a beautiful goal that almost makes majority of people not to realize the assist provider which was Afful. Afful didn’t deliver this sort of performance in the Gabon 2017 AFCON but was present in this game and if he is to stay in the team for long, he needs to be consistent with strong displays like this one in bigger games.
LB Lumor Agbenyenu – 6.5
Made his debut and what a way to start by providing an assist. The Ethiopian defence fumbled with a great ball from Lumor into the box and once again Dwamena was there to say “Thank You” by easily tapping in his second goal of the day in just his very first international game for the Black Stars.
CB John Boye – 7
I was convinced that Boye has come to stay again in the Ghana team from his performances in Gabon 2017. He was there to throw himself into any tackles againt Ethiopia – he didn’t bother to break his leg or that of an opponent. The commitment was there and on top of that, he scored a beautiful goal. In one challenge I feared the referee was going to brandish red to Boye for a high boot challenge.
CB Daniel Amartey – 6.5
Exactly the type of player you will want to have on your team. Highly versatile to play as either a defender – be it right back or left back or central defence – or midfielder. He gave so much to the Black Stars against Ethiopia. The opponent’s attack is not the type of sharp attack to test the Ghanaian defence but Amartey and Boye still did their job excellently.
CM Ebenezer Ofori – 7
Provided security and control in midfield and anytime he bombed forward, he always a threat to the Ethiopian side. A cracker goal and a clever through ball for Lumor in the build up to the 5th Ghana goal represent a great game for the former New Edubiase central midfielder who lasted 90 minutes.
CM Thomas Pattey – 6.5
A bit silent in the game as Kwesi Appiah brought Afriyie Aaquah to take his place , at a time Pattey had slowed down a bit but the Atletico Madrid midfielder did well even if it was not a commanding midfield play from him unlike his partner Ofori.
RM Andre Ayew – 7
Was involved in the second and fourth Ghana goals. It was Ayew who effected a quick short corner kick with Agyepong who in turn crossed the ball into the Ethiopia box that John Boye scored after a header from Dwamena fell right in front of him. Ayew was once again an active player whose shot was parried away by keeeper Abel Mamo of Ethiopia that fell to Dwamena constantly asking to score by putting himself in vantage positions in the box and yes he did , thanks to Ayew’s previous effort.
LM Thomas Agyepong – 6.5
Very influential in the game. Completed most of his attempted take-ons and was very much involved in the opening Ghana goal scored by Asamoah Gyan. He found pocket of space on the left to outwit his marker before sending in a left-footed inswinger that Gyan headed home. The Manchester City player who spent the last season on loan at NAC Breda in the Netherlands was once again involved in the 4th Ghana goal as it was him that delivered that great cut-back for Andre Ayew whose effort was parried away by the Ethipioa goalkeeper but it could only go as far as Ghana’s lanky debutant striker Dwamena who made no mistake to slot home his first Ghana goal. He did his job well, Agyepong.
CF Asamoah Gyan – 7
Provided leadership – barring his controversial customized captain’s armband – that meant deputy captain Andre Ayew had to go in for a different band given by the Ghana technical bench when Gyan was substituted. Scored his 50th international goal for the Black Stars. Reaching half century of goal in international football where matches matches do not come regularly is certainly a huge achievement by Gyan.
CF Raphael Dwamena – 7
Scorer of two goals on his international debut – when Gyan made his debut against Somalia in November 2003 at the Accra sports stadium, he scored a goal. He has everything to succeed as striker in both club and country football, Dwamena. Dwamena had a hand in two other goals scored by Gyan and John Boye, meaning he was involved in 4 of the 5 goals Ghana scored.
CM Afriyie Acquah – 5
CF Jordan Ayew – 5
CF Majeed Waris – 5
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