Head coach of the Black Stars Kwesi Appiah, has praised his players after securing a ‘difficult’ 2-0 win over Walias of Ethiopia in the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier on Sunday.
Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew scored as the Black Stars clinched all important three points to increase their 2019 African Cup of Nations qualification chances.
Ayew, controlled a long pass from defender Harrison Afful before calmly slotting the ball into the net with a fine close range.
The striker who was making a return to the Black Stars after a one year absence doubled the lead before the half-hour mark via penalty spot after Emmanuel Boateng was fouled in the box by Ethiopian goalkeeper.
Walia ibex however, possessed the ball better after recess but lacked the cutting edge in attack to put the ball at the back of the net.
“The players did well considering the nature of the pitch and secondly the altitude, it wasn’t easy. Even though I was standing out there, I was sometimes finding it difficult to breath but for them to the whole 90 minutes I think they’ve done really well,” Coach Appiah told reporters after the game.
“Tactically after we went ahead two goals the intention was to make sure they will be able to contain the weather and for that reason the opposing team had opportunity to maintain the ball more.”
“At the end of the day, if they possess more you don’t have a problem but once they enter your box that’s where the problem will be created but on the whole looking at the altitude it was very difficult in the second for our players,” he deduced.
With CAF yet to make a final decision in regards to Sierra Leone (who have been banned by FIFA and therefore barred from playing the last three rounds of qualifiers) and their status in Group F, the Black Stars’ place at the 2019 finals is not fully confirmed.
But if and when CAF award 3-0 wins to Sierra Leone’s opponents for the three missing games (two of which were against Ghana), Kwesi Appiah’s side will be mathematically be guaranteed a place in the top two of the group, and therefore safely into Cameroon 2019.