Black Stars coach Charles Kwablan Akonnor invited 23 players to contest the third and fourth matches of the 2021 AFCON Qualification tournament against Sudan this month and this weekend we kept an eye on how these selected players fared in their various clubs abroad.
In this piece , Gariba Raubil of SPORTSWorldGhana.com provides an extensive update on the immediate performance of the 23 players following the squad announcement last Thursday.
Goalkeeper – Richard Ofori – Orlando Pirates, South Africa
Minutes played: 90
Goals conceded : 0
The Black Stars number 1 was in goal for Orlando Pirates in the MTN 8 Cup semifinal clash against Kaizer Chiefs last Saturday. Ofori helped Pirates to win 3-0 as the Ghanaian custodian produced a first big performance since joining his new club.
Goalkeeper – Lawrence Ati-Zigi – St. Gallen, Switzerland
Minutes played : 90
Goals conceded : 3
Ati-Zigi played 90 minutes in goal for St. Gallen on Sunday as they lost to Basel by 3-1. The Black Stars player who has been called up for the 2021 AFCON qualifying matches against Sudan has conceded six goals in the last three league games. The team of Ati-Zigi are second on the league table after 6 games but the rate at which the reserve Ghanaian goalkeeper is conceding goals does not help his confidence and personal statistics.
Goalkeeper – Razak Abalora – Asante Kotoko, Ghana
The Kotoko goalkeeper – who is the only home-based player in Akonnor’s latest selection – has not started any competition yet as the Ghana Premier League commences November 13th.
Defender – Harrsion Afful – Columbus Crew, USA
Minutes played: 90
The 34-year old full-back was in full action on Sunday as his team Columbus Crew won 2-1 over Philadelphia Union in the Major League Soccer. Afful provided the assist for the first goal of Crew in the 37th minute.
Defender – Abdul Baba Rahman – Chelsea, England
The Chelsea player has not played regular football since the 2015/16 season partly due to niggling injuries. This season he was not registered for the English Premier League despite remaining a Chelsea bona fide property.
Defender – Gideon Mensah – Vitoria de Guimaraes, Portugal
Minuted played : 90
Mensah who is now the main holder of the left back position at the Black Stars lasted full duration of his team’s 2-1 win away at Gil Vicente. Mensah who wore the number 14 shirt for Guimaraes did his job well and he is part of the latest CK Akonnor 23-man Ghana squad to face Sudan this month.
Defender – Anang Benson – MSK Zilina, Slovakia
20-year old Benson who made his senior Ghana debut against Qatar is once again in the squad for the Sudan games this month but he has not been part of the Zilina match-day squads for the past three matches. In fact the last time he made a competitive appearance was the International friendly game against Qatar.
Defender – Alexander Djiku – Strasbourg, France
He was not part of the match-day squad of his team who lost 2-1 at Reims on Sunday in the Ligue 1.
Defender – John Boye – FC Metz, France
Boye who has started every single game of Metz this season was not seen in action over the weekend as Metz won 1-0 at Nimes.
Defender – Nicholas Opoku – Amiens, France
Amiens play against Toulouse in the Ligue 2 tonight at 19:45 GMT as Opoku is expected to feature as usual.
Defender – Joseph Aidoo – Celta Vigo, Spain
Minutes played: 45
It was a bad weekend for Aidoo in the La Liga whose Celta Vigo were hammered at home 4-1 by ruthless Real Sociedad. Joseph Aidoo came on in place of Nestor Araujo in the 46th minute but he could not prevent his home side from losing heavily on the day.
Midfielder – Thomas Partey- Arsenal, England
Minuted played : 90
He Showed exactly why Arsenal paid the £45m required to sign him on Deadline Day from Atletico Madrid. A huge presence for the Gunners alongside Elneny, who he struck up an excellent partnership with. Another key component of Arsenal’s new spine and Arteta will be hoping to see much more of that in the coming weeks and months. Top for Arsenal touches, possession won, tackles and interceptions and dribbles completed. “He’s a midfielder player who can do everything,” said Jamie Redknapp. This is how Sky Sports described Partey’s monstrous performance at Old Trafford.
This is obviously the reference performance of Partey for Arsenal and the biggest performer of any Ghanaian player abroad.
Midfielder -Baba Idrisu Mohammed – RCD Mallorca, Spain
Minutes played : 63
Baba played started the game and lasted 63 minutes as Real Zaragoza and Mallorca shared the spoils in the Round 10 game of the second-tier league competition of Spain.
Midfielder – Mubarak Wakaso -Jiangsu Suning FC, China
Minutes played: his team plays today at 7.30 AM.
The 30-year old former Ashantigold player is a regular first team member at Jiangsu Suning who play Shanghai SIPG in the play-off semifinals second leg this morning. The first leg ended 1-1 at the home ground of Jiangsu.
Midfielder – Emmanuel Lomotey – Amiens, France
Amiens play against Toulouse in the Ligue 2 tonight at 19:45 GMT and Lomotey formerly of Ghana Premier League side Dreams FC is expected to feature.
Forward- Andre Ayew – Swansea City – England
Minutes played: 90
The Black Stars captain was on target for his championship side as they won 2-0 over Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
Forward – Jordan Ayew – Crystal Palace, England
Minutes played : 20
Jordan returned from Covid-19 to hand Palace a boost but his team lost 2-0 at Wolves on Friday as the former Marseille striker drew blank again for the 16th consecutive and competitive match for club and country.
Forward – Samuel Owusu – Al Ahli SC, Saudi Arabia
Minutes played : 30
Owusu came off the bench in the 60th minute but he could not prevent his team from losing 2-0 at Al-Ittihad FC in the Saudi Arabia Professional league week three match.
Forward – Jeffrey Schlupp – Crystal Palace, England
Minutes played : 65
Schlupp started the Premier League game at Wolves and was taken off in the 65th minute as Palace were beaten 2-0.
Forward – Caleb Ekuban – Trabzonspor, Turkey
Minutes played : 0
Ekuban has missed the last three games of his team after testing positive for the second time for Covid-19.
Forward – John Antwi – Pyramids, Egypt
Minutes played: 0
John was not part of the Pyramids squad that drew 2-2 to Arab Contractors on the 31st October during the last round of matches of the Egypt league season
Forward – Tariqe Fosu – Brentford, England
Minutes played: 9
Fosu came off the bench to play the last nine minutes in Brentford’s 3-0 win at Luton in the Round 9 Championship encounter.
Forward – Jamie Leweling – Greuther Furth, Germany
Minutes played : 17
Jamie was handed a maiden selection to the Black Stars by C.K Akonnor and this past weekend he came off the bench to play the last seventeen minutes in Greuther Furth’s 4-1 win over Hannover 96. When Jamie – in jersey number 40 – was introduced into the 2.Bundesliga game, his team had taken the 4-1 lead already.
He has however not scored in the last 17 league games of his team in the 2.Bundesliga.
Follow the writer of this story on Twitter : @GRAUBIL