AFCON 2019: 5 observations as Tunisia sends Ghana packing
Ghana lost 5-4 on penalties to Tunisia in the round of 16 of the AFCON. Here are five observations from the game...
The Black Stars have been eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) after losing on penalties to Tunisia in the round of 16.
Kwesi Appiah’s men once again failed when it came to penalties, losing 5-4 after Caleb Ekuban missed his kick.
Here are five observations from the game:
5. Ghana’s penalty woes continue
Once again the Black Stars failed to in their quest to win the Africa Cup of Nations following a penalty shootout loss.
Having failed to beat Tunisia in both regulation and extra time, Ghana lost 5-4 in the ensuing penalty shootout, after Caleb Ekuban missed his kick.
This is not the first time the Black Stars have lost out on a tournament in a penalty shootout. This was the same situation in 2010 (World Cup), 2012 (AFCON) and in the final of the 2015 AFCON.
It appears Ghana’s penalty woes are far from over and once again it has cost the nation a trophy.
4. Andre Ayew’s goal was legit
One of the major talking points of the game was Andre Ayew’s disallowed goal towards the end of the first half.
The Swansea City forward scored what was undoubtedly a goal of the tournament contender, but the referee ruled it out after his assistant adjudged Thomas Partey to have handled the ball in the build-up to the goal.
However, replays showed that the goal was perfectly legit and should have been allowed to stand.
Perhaps that goal could have changed the outcome of the game, but it is bound to be a huge talking point following the Black Stars’ loss.
3. John Boye’s indiscipline a huge concern
John Boye continues to divide opinion following another night where his indiscipline on the pitch put Ghana on the edge.
The Metz centre-back was culpable during the Black Stars’ 2-2 draw in their opening group game after receiving his marching orders early in the second half.
Boye’s carelessness on the pitch nearly cost the team and he was once again guilty for receiving an avoidable yellow card early in the game against Tunisia.
The defender’s lack of discipline is gradually becoming a concern and his early yellow-card was the latest in this episode.
2. Whabi Khazri’s introduction turned the game in Tunisia’s favour
For larger parts of the game, Tunisia struggled to cope with the pressure from the Black Stars as they remained on the back foot.
However, everything changed following the introduction of Wahbi Khazri. The 28-year-old replaced Badri in the 68th minute and was immediately involved in every attacking move.
Kahzri’s presence was felt for the last 20 minutes and it was no surprise that his back heeled pass led to Khenissi’s scoring Tunisia’s goal.
1. Jordan Ayew continues to show leadership maturity
Despite the Black Stars’ loss to Tunisia, one of the players that will exit with his head high is striker Jordan Ayew.
The 27-year-old has undoubtedly been Ghana’s best player at the tournament, scoring two goals during the group stages.
And he continued with his good form against Tunisia. Despite missing a sitter deep into extra time, Jordan continued to show leadership and maturity upfront.
He constantly chased after the ball, passed when he had to and led the attack very well. This is definitely the end of an era for many of the current players, but Jordan should be part of the few ones to lead the future.