AFCON 2019: 5 observations from Ghana‘s 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau
Pulse Sports observes 5 talking points from Ghana’s 2-0 win over Guinea-Bissau in the AFCON:
The Black Stars recorded their first win in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) following a commanding 2-0 victory over Guinea-Bissau.
Kwesi Appiah‘s men went into the game needing to win, and goals from Jordan Ayew and Thomas Partey were enough to secure the result.
Following a goalless first half, Jordan produced a magical moment after the restart, dribbling past his marker before curling the ball into the top corner.
Partey doubled Ghana‘s lead with 15 minutes to go after netting from a Baba Rahman cross.
Pulse Sports zooms into five observations from the game:
Black Stars finally turn up
The Black Stars have been under pressure following two draws in their opening two games against Benin and Cameroon.
However, the entire team turned up on Tuesday against Guinea-Bissau. Much of the pre-match talk centered on whether the Stars were up for this game in terms of attitude and desire.
But after 90 minutes, they did not only win but went on to make an emphatic statement. In this game there was urgency, passes were quick and there was a general will to win the ball back after losing it.
Very few people expected the Black Stars to put up such a performance, but the team finally turned up and they will definitely go far should they continue this way.
Jordan Ayew gradually becoming the main man
First he demonstrated his zeal against Benin by scoring and assisting as the Black Stars drew 2-2 with the Squirrels, but now Jordan Ayew is gradually becoming the team’s main man.
On Tuesday, it was the Swansea forward who started Ghana‘s party with a brilliant solo goal and he was also in the thick of everything that the team did.
Jordan may still have a long way to go to realize his full potential, but he’s gradually stepping up to the plate when needed.
With Asamoah Gyan all but set set to retire from the national team after the 2019 AFCON, Jordan‘s display of maturity couldn’t have come at a better time, as he works his way to becoming the main man.
Guinea-Bissau’s speed troubled the Black Stars
The score-line between Ghana and Guinea-Bissau makes it look like the game was one-sided but, in truth, it was far from that.
This was one of the most open, end-to-end games the tournament has seen and that was as a result of the intensity Guinea-Bissau came into the game with.
The minnows chased after every ball and managed to match the Black Stars for the entirety of the first half. The speed of their attackers was a constant menace for John Boye and Joseph Aidoo.
Guinea-Bissau may have lost but they did enough to show that the Black Stars’ defence is still very much breachable.
Partey demonstrates why he deserves to play further forward
One of the biggest conundrums Coach Kwesi Appiah has faced is where to actually play Thomas Partey in this Black Stars team.
The Atletico Madrid man is naturally a central midfielder, but he often thrives when played in an attacking role. Partey has had to play deeper in Ghana’s first two group games, but he was finally unleashed against Guinea-Bissau.
Having had a dull first half, the midfielder was pushed further forward when Afriyie Acquah was introduced into the game, with the Black Stars 1-0 up.
The result? Partey immediately found his mojo and went on to score Ghana‘s second goal. In the succeeding minutes he demonstrated why he deserves to play higher up the pitch by dictating play like the Partey we are used to.
John Boye redeems himself after bizarre sending off
Some players just love the spotlight and John Boye is one of the them, although not by his own doing.
The center-back was heavily criticized following his sending off against Benin in the opening game, however, he redeemed himself when given another chance against Guinea-Bissau.
Boye rarely put a foot wrong and put up an assured performance as the Black Stars kept a clean sheet against the Djurtus.
Before Tuesday’s game, Boye was an outcast, but on the face of his performance, Kwesi Appiah will have a selection headache when Nuhu Adams and Jonathan Mensah return for the last 16 clash.