Ghana breathed life back into their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a hard fought 3-1 win over Zimbabwe at the Cape Coast Stadium on Saturday.
Goals from Kudus Mohammed, Thomas Partey and captain Andre Ayew gave coach Milovan Rajevac a winning return to the national team, following his re-appointment to replace CK Akonnor.
The win takes the Black Stars to 6 points, 1 behind Group G leaders South Africa, who beat Ethiopia 3-1 earlier in the day.
Here is how each player rated in the victory against Zimbabwe:
Jojo Wollacott – 6
Thrown into the thick of affairs in his very first Black Stars call up, the Swindon Town man showed composure to comfortably deal with everything thrown at him. He wasn’t test much but his distribution looked really good. Nothing he could do about the penalty.
Daniel Amartey – 6
Played as a right back, Amartey struggled to deal with the pace of Zimbabwean winger Jordan Zemura but he settled into the game in the latter stages. He did not contribute much by way of attacks.
Alexander Djiku – 4.5
After an impressive opening 15 minutes where he pulled off two great blocks, an otherwise composed Djiku struggled with the pace of the game. His distribution was inefficient and he gave away a cheap penalty that could have cost the team. A forgettable afternoon for the Strasbourg defender.
Jonathan Mensah – 6
Brought his experience to bear to calm a defense that was caught out of position a few times. His defensive organization was great but he was also caught out of position in the moments leading to the Djiku penalty.
Baba Rahman -6.5
Bombed forward to great effect. Fantastic cross for the Andre Ayew goal as well but his final delivery was at times erratic which often led to turnovers in possession. Defending is still an area he needs to work on.
Kudus Mohammed – 8
What a footballer – skillful, dedicated, intelligent, press resistant. Took his goal perfectly and should have scored two more. Always found himself in useful positions and linked up well with Thomas Partey, Kamaldeen Sulemana and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku.
Thomas Partey -8
A very composed performance from the Arsenal man. Controlled the midfield effectively and when tasked to go forward following the introduction of Baba Iddrisu, he did so to great effect. Brilliant piece of skill to score Ghana’s second goal; and what a crucial time to score as well.
Andre Ayew -6.5
The captain was a passenger for the first half of the game. Deployed alongside Partey at the base of midfield, the game bypassed him and he struggled to make any impact. When shifted up top in the second half, he showed why he is the team’s best goalscorer, threatening before effectually finding the back of the net, his 20th goal for the Black stars.
Kamaldeen Sulemana – 7.5
The Rennes forward was a menace for the Zimbabwean defense throughout the game. His pace, trickery and delivery were too hard to deal with and his decisive passing was an added bonus to the team. He was unlucky not to get a goal after he scored what looked like a legal goal which was ruled out for offside.
Abdul Fatawu Issahaku -6
At age 17, on his Black Stars debut, Issahaku showed glimpses of why he is so highly rated. He found himself in some great shooting positions but was often unlucky with the final shot. His link up play was good too. He sort of fizzled out in the second half and was rightly hooked.
Jordan Ayew – 5
Great assist for Kudus’ goal but that was about it. Didn’t impact the game as much and he himself was visibly frustrated at himself. It is a pity because you can clearly tell that Jordan passionately cares and wants to improve. It’s just not happening at the moment. He’s a little short on confidence.
Baba Iddrisu – 6.5
His substitution changed the game. He gave the team a solid defensive cover, allowing Thomas Partey to surge forward. His introduction stabilized the midfield and gave the Ghana team some control after they were pegged back.
Benjamin Tetteh -4.5
Had a decent outing on his debut. He set up a beautiful ball for Kudus who shot straight at the goalkeeper. He also helped out defensively on set pieces, using his height to great effect.
Samuel Owusu -N/A
Daniel Kyereh -N/A
Yaw Yeboah -N/A
Coach Milovan Rajevac – 8
Rajevac picked the right players and deployed them in their right positions. Except Andre Ayew in central midfield, the rest of the team played to great effect, thanks to the coach’s clear instructions. He reacted very well to being pegged back, bringing on Baba Iddrisu to liberate both Thomas Partey and Andre Ayew, who both scored to turn the game on its head. The team is looking like his team already.