The Pharaohs of Egypt defeated the Black Stars of Ghana 1-0 in Port-Gentil on Wednesday evening to finish as Group D leaders with seven points as Mohammed Salah’s sublime freekick won the game for the North-Africans.
Despite the defeat, Ghana finish as runners-up and will face Group C table toppers DR Congo in the quarterfinals on Sunday in Oyem whereas Egypt set up a North-African derby with Morocco in Port-Gentil.
Ghana coach Avram Grant made four changes to his starting list as the Black Stars have already qualified to the knockout stage but what is worrying is the visible lack of offensive options in the Ghana team.
Hector Cuper’s side did not really click at the start of the tournament as Egypt drew Mali and needed an 89th minute goal to break a resolute Uganda side but on Wednesday Mohamed Salah, Mamoud Hassan Trezeguet, Ahmed Hegazy and co produced a high-quality performance to outplay Avram Grant’s Black Stars in a way that probably lay emphasis on the point that this Black Stars cannot match them on a football pitch at least for the last three games the two rivals have contested.
Whiles Egypt performance was first-class, the Black Stars rather ended the group play with a mediocre performance and here, Metro FM correspondent in Port-Gentil Gariba Raubil who also writes for Sportsworldghana evaluates the individual performances of the Black Stars players against Egypt
GK RAZAK BRAIMAH – 4.5
Conceded for the first time in the tournament from a Mohamed Salah freekick but his positioning in goal was questionable…Despite this set back Razak was not as horrible as some of his colleagues…
RB ANDY YIADOM – 4.5
Horrible debut game for the full-back….the game was bigger than him and it was quiet obvious….really suffered on the right side of defence in the hands of Egypt’s Trezeguet..
LB HARRISON AFFUL – 5.5
The most improved defender in the Black Stars for this game was Afful…Trezeguet completed many take-ons facing Yiadom but Egypt’s right winger Salah did not do much against Afful at the left back role for Ghana…he provided the team with great protection at left back….
CB JONATHAN MENSAH – 4
As I expected, he looked jittery for the whole duration of the game and lacked concentration, very rusty ….this was the worst ever 90 minutes I’ve seen from Jonathan Mensah in the Ghana jersey…..He let the coach down, let his team down, he let everyone down as his avoidable mistake led to the freekick that Salah scored from….His tournament is over…
CB JOHN BOYE – 6.5
Time changes….Boye who was on his way out of the team has now fought back to earn a starting role in the Black Stars…so so commanding in central defence in all the three games played, he’s been excellent…
CM DANIEL AMARTEY – 7
Since he joined the Black Stars, he’s become one of the few players that finishes every game without fans questioning their performance….Has Amartey even had a bad game playing for Ghana before? No so far as I am concerned…..He linked the defence and attack well and did the Thomas Pattey job very well…A versatile player who is comfortable in both defence and midfield…The best Ghana player in the game was this man….He goes home peerless….
CM AGYEMAN BADU – 5
Two shots played – one on target and one off target from a midfielder in a team that performed so badly is good personally but Badu should have done more…Conceded possession on some occasions that was heartbreaking especially when Ghana attacked then he gave wrong passes…Not a proud display and this may be his first and last start in the tournament
RM CHRISTIAN ASTU – 5
Simply not his day…In the Uganda and Mali games Atsu was the main man but not in this game…Bad day for the playmaker
LM SAMUEL TETTEH – 4
Could not capitalize on the big opportunity given to him by the coach and was taken off but he did not disappoint at all…
AM ANDRE AYEW – 4
He was supposed to inspire the team but Andre flopped…Asamoah Gyan was changed and Andre took the captain’s armband but failed to do what captains do….Fed with a fine squared ball from Asamoah Gyan few minutes after the Egypt’s goal but Andre’s poor composure could not make him control the ball goal wards as he got a touch but it trickled wide…..If he had been more decisive something good could have come out but he did not and the glorious chance he missed against Mali quickly comes to mind that once upon a time the big boy is now choking when he’s needed most by the team…Couple of bad passes Andre gave out even made his game difficult to watch and at a point I wanted him to be subbed but Avram Grant trusted him..
CF ASAMOAH GYAN – 4.5
Despite Gyan’s lack of fitness, he has been involved in all of Ghana’s two goals scored at the tournament and you hardly could dare to have issues with his performance…Got the job done against Uganda and Mali…Was a big shame he had to be replaced due to injury…His commitment on the field has been very key…
CF JORDAN AYEW – 4
Jordan is the type of player that is hard to criticize. At one point he produces a good effort then few seconds later he disappoint….The intermittent shots on target and the poor controls from him sometimes make you doubt whether to lash out at him or not….
CF BERNARD TEKPETEY – 4
Showed some indications that when given the chance he can play but when he came on when the game was already hard for Ghana to come back….Played one shot off target
CM WAKASO MUBARAK – 4
His introduction added nothing good to the team as Mubarak’s anxiety got the better of him ….the incorrect long balls and fouls he committed were just unproductive…
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