The Black Stars secured a dramatic victory against Madagascar at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium on Friday.
Struggling to score for most of the game, Iñaki Williams soared highest to head in a cross during injury time, marking his first-ever goal in a Black Stars jersey.
With three points, Ghana is now second in Group I, trailing behind Comoros on goal difference.
Here are five key takeaways:
1. Ghana’s First-Half Struggles:
The Black Stars faced a challenging first half, being outplayed by Madagascar. Madagascar had more possession (55%), 3 shots on target compared to Ghana’s 1, and 32 dangerous attacks against Ghana’s 21.
2. Incompatibility of Salis Samed and Iddrisu Baba:
Chris Hughton’s decision to pair Salis Samed and Iddrisu Baba in midfield raised questions. Both players have similar playing styles, focusing on safe passes over risk-taking, which hindered Ghana’s ability to create scoring opportunities in the first half.
3. Madagascar’s Organization:
Madagascar displayed better organization and purpose in their play. They excelled in passing, had a solid defensive line, a well-coordinated midfield, and an attack that worked cohesively.
4. Inaki Williams Ends Goal Drought:
Despite fan displeasure with the first-half performance, Iñaki Williams showcased determination, making dangerous runs, taking on opponents, and making smart decisions. His header in injury time ended an 11-game goal drought.
5. Majeed Ashimeru’s Impact:
Substituted in the second half, Anderlecht midfielder Majeed Ashimeru proved to be the game-changer, connecting Ghana’s gameplay and providing the ball progression lacking in the initial period. He emerged as the best player for the Black Stars on the day.