Sports News of Saturday, 21 January 2017
El Akyereko runs the rule over the performance of Avram Grant’s men at the Stade de Port-Gentil on Saturday evening as the Black Stars posted a 1-0 win over the Eagles of Mali to reach the quarter-finals of the 2017 AFCON.
Captain Asamoah Gyan claimed his 50th international goal with a fabulous header from a Jordan Ayew cross in the 50th minute and recorded his 8th goal at the AFCON to become Ghana’s all-time top-scorer at the competition.
Newcastle United Star Christian Atsu was the standout players for the four-time champions who are gunning for their fifth title.
Meanwhile Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Teye Partey continues to establish himself in midfield with an all-conquering display.
Razak Brimah GOALKEEPER (6.5/10)
Produced a wonderful stop to deny Doumbia to atone for his earlier troubles. He stopped a goal-bound effort from Yatabare but his weakness of indecision surfaced early in the first-half. He was lucky when Marega directed a near-post effort wide.
Harrison Afful RIGHT-BACK (6.5/10)
Employed his pace and energy to defend the steadily anytime the Malians decided to use his side of defence to launch an attack. He enjoyed considerable success defending against the hulking sizes of Yatabare and Co.
Frank Acheampong LEFT-BACK (6.5/10)
Brought in to replace the injured Baba Rahman and he performed overly well. He was always a terror whenever he burst forward
John Boye CENTER-BACK (6.5/10)
Alert and confident. Matched Marega and Yatabare boot-for-boot in strong aerial tussles. Marshaled the backline expertly with Amartey and Afful anytime Ghana went on the attack as team’s formation switched to 3-5-2.
Daniel Amartey CENTER-BACK (7/10)
Covered aces of space to shorten create chances in midfield and push the Malians back. Efficiently mobile and intelligent to limit Mali’s chances upfront.
Wakaso Mubarak DEFENSIVE MIDFIELD (7/10)
Tasked to provide a defensive shield for the back four and link the defence to the attacking sect in transition. And he discharged that with an awesome vision, displaying inch-perfect cross with Christian Atsu.
Thomas Partey OFFENSIVE MIDFIELD (8.5/10)
Great distributor of the ball. Embarked on a string of forays which created panicking moments for the Malian midfield. Technically used his height to defend whenever required.
Christian Atsu LEFT-WING (7.5/10)
Troubled Hamari Traore on the flanks in the early minutes though the Panathinaikos man tried to out-muscle him out of the game. In one instant he picked the pocket of the Stade de Reims and slit the ball for Andre Ayew who missed horribly.
Andre Ayew RIGHT-WING (5.5/10)
Missed Ghana’s first real chance of the game after firing wide from a Christian Atsu sweet cross. The West Ham United star had a flashy game especially in the first-half.
Jordan Ayew FORWARD (6.5/10)
Deserves a lot of credit for the opening goal as he delivered a fine cross which was headed home by Asamoah Gyan. The Aston Villa man nearly topped up Ghana’s lead in the 31st minute as Oumar Sissoko palmed away his goal-bound effort.
Asamoah Gyan FORWARD (7.5/10)
Announced his presence with a fabulous header from a delirious cross from Jordan Ayew. The Al Ahli man remained a potent threat to the Malians until he was replaced in the 82nd minute by Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu.
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu MIDFIELD (5/10)
Replaced Gyan who had to be replaced and he shored up the team in the last 8 minutes of regulation time.
Afriyie Acquah MIDFIELD (5/10)
Took the place of Jordan Ayew at the dying embers of the game.