2026 World Cup qualifiers: Majeed Ashimeru changed the game when he came on - Madagascar Coach

Published on: 18 November 2023

Madagascar coach Romuald Rakotondrabe has admitted that Majeed Ashimeru changed the game when he was subbed on in the second half of their 2026 World Cup qualifier against the Black Stars.

The Anderlecht player came off the bench and drastically altered the course of the game by addressing Ghana's ball progression challenges. He seamlessly bridged the gap between attack and defense, resolving a crucial aspect that was lacking.

His dynamic energy and powerful runs ultimately paved the way for Inaki Williams to score a decisive 95th-minute goal, securing a victorious start for Ghana in their Group I games.

Speaking after the game, the Madagascar coach was full of praise for the impact Majeed Ashimeru made in the game.

"We had the better chances and we hit the bar. But that is football; we missed our chance, and they scored theirs. I take responsibility because I am the coach. I take the blame for what happened,” Romuald Rakotondrabe said.

"In the first 45 minutes, we were able to challenge Ghana. In the second half, he brought Majeed Ashimeru, and that changed everything. I told the boys to stop him because he brought energy. We tried and tried [but it did not work]."