5 Pointers from Ghana’s goalless draw with Uganda

Citi Sports’ Rahman Osman was at Tamale Stadium and he shares 5 things he picked up from the game.

TERRIBLE PITCH

The Tamale pitch made it difficult for both teams to build attack through midfield. This is a World Cup qualifier and it ought to be treated a such.

This tournament brings the GFA so much money. I am wondering how they chose to gamble with it on an unplayable pitch.

The fixtures were drawn several months ago. If they harboured any thought of honoring this game in Tamale, they should have prepared the pitch long ago.

SELFISH ATTACKERS

With the pitch halting a fluid style of play, it was clear that a more coordinated effort from the players would give the needed result. However, the attackers put individual glory ahead of the collective.

There were moments when a player with the ball had two or three team mates in a better position but chose to shot shoot from  afar.
That was not going to get us anything and true to word, we gained no goals in the match.

AFFUL, BABA RAHMAN NEED COMPETITION

The two fullbacks, Harrison Afful and Baba Rahman have been enjoying a monopoly on the right and left side of the Blackstars defense ever since Avram Grant took over the team.

Jeffrey Schlupp was supposed to put Rahman on his toes but he has become a full time winger. The performance of the duo against Uganda was below their lofty standards.

Rahman especially struggled to deal with the pace and power of Nicholas Wadada on so many occasions. Offensively, Afful and Rahman were average too.

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THE SET PIECE MOJO THE SERBS LEFT US IS GONE

The Black Stars, all of a sudden, became very good with set pieces during the era of two successive Serbia coaches. Even when the team is struggling they managed to literally ‘squeeze water from a rock’ with corner kicks or free kicks.

We can go back to the ‘one goal project’ era of Milovan Rajevac for that.

It continued when Akwesi Appiah took over especially in South Africa 2014 and the 2014 World Cup Qualifier with Wakaso Mubarak weighing in inch-perfect deliveries resulting in goals.

Since Avram Grant took over the set piece magic is dying.

Ghana had many free kicks at very advantageous positions but there were was no variations in the set plays.

All the kicks were direct no matter the player behind it and more surprisingly, there was no Ghanaian player in the wall to help create a shooting lane or become a marker for the kicker.

BAD CHANGES BY AVRAM GRANT

Frank Acheampong was troubling the Cranes with his direct play down the left flank. He even got the Ugandan fullback and winger into the referee’s book. Why sub him when Gyan was having a bad day at the office?

The change was inspired by reputation and not performance.

Schlupp, who came in for Acheampong, could not trouble the Cranes. It would have been better if Schlupp had came on for Baba Rahman to aid Acheampong by doubling up on the Cranes right sides.

Unfortunately, Avram Grant did not see things that way.

By: Rahman Osman on @iamrahmanosman

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