Black Stars picked up a vital point in Luanda against Angola in their round four fixture of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers on Monday, March 27.
Osman Bukari netted the equalizer for Ghana 18 minutes to end the game after Lucas Joao had shot the home side into the lead from the spot.
Ghana have now extended their lead at the top of Group E and would need a win in the fifth round against Madagascar to seal their qualification for the AFCON.
Many lessons were unpacked prior, during, and after the game that deserves to be noted.
Here are five lessons learnt from Ghana’s draw with Angola:
1. Chris Hughton needs to improve Ghana’s attack
Black Stars drew 1-1 with the Antelopes but the scoreline could have been different if the attacking line had good chemistry.
The lack of cohesion in the final third led to poor runs and poor decision making which made Ghana struggle in breaking down the Angola defense.
Chris Houghton will have more work to do by improving how the team should play in attacking areas, especially the movement of the player and while entreating his players to be decisive.
Ghana created 5 chances (2 big chances), attempted 8 shots, and managed only 2 on target, scoring one.
2. Black Stars have a bright future
The game against Angola in both legs showed that the Black Stars are currently talent packed in all areas on the field.
Black Stars skipper, Andre Ayew, Dennis Odoi, Djiku and Mohammed Salisu were ruled through a minor injuries. However, Chris Hughton filled a side that the four key players were not missed in the game.
When the going got tough, he introduced Osman Bukari, Joseph Paintsil, and Majeed Ashimeru and the trio changed the dynamics of the game to earn the vital draw. In the absence of Partey, Edmund Addo and Salis Samed bossed the midfield without really missing the Arsenal man.
Ashimeru give the team more control, Paintsil gave the assist after beautifully combining with debutant Kingsley Schindler who replaced Tariq Lamptey in the squad and Bukari smashed the equalizer with his first touch.
This means the Black Stars transition is on the right track.
3. The current squad has strong team bonding
The unity among the players continues to be evident, game in and game out. In recent games, the players have been celebrating goals together with the bench running across the pitch join.
Although scoring an equalizer in a crucial away game triggers wild celebration, for this group it was another day to be happy that a teammate is on the scoresheet.
4. Set piece problems
The Black Stars have been grappling with set piece problems for an extended period of time, and this issue was once again apparent in the game. Jordan Ayew took all the free kicks and corners, but they were all off-target.
The kicks lacked direction, consistently either over or under-hit.
5. Hughton bold again
Chris Hughton showed once again that he was not afraid to make bold decisions during the game, just as he did last week. In the first leg of the match in Kumasi, he left captain Andre Ayew on the bench, and in this game, he opted to bench Inaki Williams and bring in Antoine Semenyo.
Semenyo, a Bournemouth attacker, had previously come off the bench to score the winning goal in Kumasi. This serves as a testament to the idea that hard work pays off.