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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

AFCON 2022: Gabby Otchere-Darko reacts to Black Stars loss

Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko

A leading member of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Gabby Otchere-Darko, has criticised the senior national team, Black Stars, following their defeat to Morocco in their opening fixture in the 2022 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

Expressing his grievances in a tweet on Monday, he attributed the loss to what he described as a “pretty awful coaching.”

According to him, the manager of the side, Milovan Rajevac’s decision to effect three late substitutions in the dying embers of the game, is what led to the team’s defeat.

“Pretty awful coaching. Team not performing for most of 80 minutes. You wait until you are a goal down with 5 minutes of play left to bring on 3 substitutes in a panic”, Mr. Otchere-Darko tweeted.

On Monday, the Black Stars disappointed their teeming supporters, after they lost by a lone goal to the Atlas Lions of Morocco, in their first Group C fixture at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo, in Yaoundé.

In the first half of the game, both sides failed to find the back of the net, despite some meaningful attacking intents from the two African countries.

Consequently, the first half ended in a stalemate, after Botswanan referee, Joshua Bondo blew his whistle to signal the end of the half.

In the second half of exchanges, the scoreline remained the same, with both sides failing to hit the back of the net.

But in the closing moments of the game, Morocco’s Sofiane Boufal seized on a loose ball to score seven minutes away from regulation time.

The 83rd-minute strike from Sofiane compelled Black Stars gaffer, Milovan Rajevac to throw some fresh limbs onto the pitch; a decision Mr. Otchere-Darko has described as ‘pretty awful coaching’.

However, Milovan Rajevac has defended his late substitutions in the game against Morocco on Monday. According to him, he had the game under control and didn’t want to alter the team’s structure.

“It was a tough match we were expecting. Morocco is one of the best teams in Africa and it was the opening match of the competition. We didn’t use our chances today and the Moroccan team was a little bit luckier in the end when we were expecting the game was coming to a close. Everything was really tight, and the team was functioning well, and I really felt we had everything under control.

“I had to analyse the goal we conceded, so I can say more because everything was going well, so there was no need to make some unnecessary changes because up to the moment we conceded the goal, we had full control in the match”, Milovan Rajevac explained.

Meanwhile, scores of Ghanaians have criticised the team for giving a poor account of themselves against their rivals from the North African nation.

According to the aggrieved supporters, the Black Stars need to up their game to end their 40-year AFCON trophy drought.

A section of supporters have however commended the team and expressed optimism about the team’s prospects in the tournament.

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