C. K Akonnor’s men fell short against Morocco, losing by a lone goal courtesy of a Jawad El Yamiq header after a Razak Abalora howler.
The result may have left a bitter taste in the mouths of the team as for a large chunk of the game, the Black Stars of Ghana kept the Atlas Lions at bay.
The Black Stars will be looking to make a better impression in the next friendly against the Ivory Coast when the two West African giants battle out at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium.
So, what did we learn from last night’s friendly?
Here are four takeaways:
Razak Abalora cannot be Ghana’s first-choice goalkeeper:
The Kumasi Asante Kotoko shot-stopper may be regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the Ghana Premier League this season after keeping 11 clean sheets for the Porcupine Warriors, but he is definitely should not Ghana’s number 1.
Here is why.
He is error-prone which may cost the team dearly in any major tournament, as he did in the friendly game against Morocco at the Moulay Abdellah Complex in Rabat.
The absence of Richard Ofori meant either Lawrence Ati-Zigi or Abalora had to start, but C.K Akonnor and his team favoured the latter, a decision that clearly backfired.
The 25-year-old was once omitted from Kotoko’s travelling team to face WAFA after his poor position and lack of awareness cost the Porcupine Warriors in their game against Liberty Professionals.
In the sequence leading to the goal against the Atlas Lions, Chelsea’s Hakim Ziyech curled a dangerous ball into the box from the right by which should have been dealt with by Razak Abalora but wasn’t.
The Asante Kotoko goalkeeper fluffed his lines, missing the ball, which was eventually headed in by Jawad El Yamiq.
Mohammed Kudus is the future:
In a game where the Black Stars of Ghana lacked adequate firepower against Morocco, it was the Ajax starlet who proved to be the only attacking threat for the Atlas Lions.
The 20-year-old danced around the Moroccan players, drawing a number of fouls while creating space for Ghana, but all were not capitalized on.
Kudus’ surging runs from deep in the midfield indicated how much of an asset he is to the Black Stars.
Although on paper he was played as an attacking midfielder, he found himself close to Baba Idrissu and Emmanuel Lomotey to help outnumber the Moroccans in the middle of the field, providing stability to the centre-back pairing of Daniel Amartey and Nicholas Opoku.
His attacking prowess came to light later on as his powerful strike forced an impressive save from Bounou.
Nicholas Opoku, Daniel Amartey partnership paid off:
One of the more impressive things in Ghana’s 1-0 defeat to Morocco was the centre-back pairing of Amiens’ Nicholas Opoku and Leicester’s Daniel Amartey.
The decision was perhaps the best thing about the team’s play yesterday up until the injury of the Amiens central defender who was replaced Alexander Djiku before the start of the second half.
The communication lines between the pair were good, keeping out the attacking threats of El Haddidi and En-Nesyri in the first half. Their partnership proved to be one of the reasons why Ghana did not concede in the opening 45 minutes of the game.
They were strong in the air, kept their head in the game and shielded Abalora, ensuring Morocco had few chances to score.
Jordan Ayew must step up:
The 2020-2021 Premier League season may have been the most difficult season ever in the career of Jordan Ayew, as he scored just one goal in 35 games, in all competitions.
His poor run was extended on Tuesday night in Rabat as he was able to manage just one shot on target during the course of the game.
That is a worrying situation for Ghana as the team prepares for the World Cup qualifiers and the Africa Cup of Nations.
On a night where the team was able to move the ball from the back to attacking areas, the onus was on Jordan Ayew to find the right space and end his goal-scoring drought.
The attacking phase of Ghana’s game was also not sharp enough as Jordan Ayew proved highly irrelevant in the game, while Samuel Owusu was ineffective. The was no proper cohesion among the attacking trio