Soccer News of Saturday, 24 January 2015
Ghana coach Avram Grant insists taking off Afriyie Acquah at halftime in the win over Algeria was part of his tactical game plan.
The Parma midfielder was the most impressive player of the Black Stars at the time he was being replaced by Mubarak Wakaso 10 minutes into the restart.
Acquah was on a yellow card and was walking a tight rope to being sent off as he remained committed to going into tackles without fear.
His change was thus interpreted as a precautionary measure by the coach to ensure he doesn’t get disadvantaged numerically.
But Avram Grant says the substitution was a pre-meditated move meant to fit into his game plan in the win over Algeria.
“It was a plan in the beginning and we spoke about it at half time,” he said.
“[Afriyie] Acquah played very well, he closed the middle and he was our best player.
“But we were praying the game will go the way we want it to, so we get one more attacking player on instead of him.
“He controlled the game well but I think it is more of a team effort and we played without a defensive midfielder [in the second half]. We did a good job.”
Ghana have now bounced back from their opening group defeat to Senegal to give themselves a great chance of qualifying to the quarter finals ahead of the final round of games.