Ghana 5, Qatar 1. A triumph which would decidedly give CK Akonnor breathing space as he inspects, examines and digests the manifestation of his just ended chancy experimentation.
A much needed experimentation where different formations were employed, of familiar faces deployed in different positions, of tweaks in the tactical approach.
Today, at the Titanic Sports Complex, the Black Stars offered Ghanaians a reminder of their monstrous capabilities, their unquestionable resolve to win back their love.
Prior to this game, many had forsaken a team soul searching for its long lost mojo.
The country’s trepidation gnawing viciously at her inhabitants, and also at the team wrestling to rediscover the very tiny, minute elements which made them a fearful side on the continent some moments in the past.
Against Qatar, who themselves were very much undercooked and far from their very best, Ghana exploded with an ominous air.
As CK Akonnor kept on shouting boisterously every now and then at his players, cajoling them with his elongated high-pitched voice, with his wailing voice creeping throughout the hollow, deserted stadium, one thing was clear; he’s not a man intimidated by these players.
Not of their status and fame, nor their riches and influence. He appears to be all too vocal, sometimes gesticulating at the players for better consumption of information passed on.
This was an intoxicating game. A stark contrast to the Mali game where the Black Stars were startlingly insipid, a game bereft of any form of joy with real satisfaction dissipating just when the game even began.
In this match, Samuel Owusu dazzled, glittered with a familiar gripping demeanour. It’s his simple shrewd movements and anticipation and pizzazz. His close control and rapid acceleration into pockets of spaces.
On the right wing of attack, he wreaked havoc and caused grave unrest for Qatar’s Hassan. How Samuel Owusu sped beyond his marker at the least chance presented was simply a breath of fresh air.
In the 65th minute, when Thomas Partey floated a delicious pass over a creaking Qatar defence line, Samuel Owusu didn’t flinch an inch, hurtling towards Qatars incoming goalkeeper. Next, he duly shaped his body up for a cool finish.
Three minutes from time, he provided an assist. This was a purely textbook performance from the 24-year-old. Currently with Al-Fayha in Saudi Arabia, the feeling is of a youngster blossoming to be one of the key cogs in this team.
So, in all of today’s experimentation, Ghanaians actually caught a glimpse of something pleasantly encouraging.
Both Ayew brothers displayed why they remain an important part to this new look Ghana side. Their ceaseless commitment exposed to the naked eye during today’s encounter.
He may not have registered his name on the scoresheet, but Jordan remained a perpetual menace to the Qatar defence. His brother and captain, Dede Ayew bagging a lovely brace, too.
His first of the evening revealing his ludicrous awareness and wily line of thought.
After many went entirely ballistic, neglecting the Black Stars to fend for themselves following a dismal Mali performance, this Qatar game, at least, could incite mild exhilaration throughout the country, and given how convincing Ghana played, despite Qatar being undercooked, there’s not an ounce of doubt that many will once again support and love the Black Stars.
Source: Bright Antwi