Kwesi Appiah took charge of his first competitive game since his reappointment as Black Stars coach on Sunday, overseeing the 5-0 defeat of Ethiopia in Kumasi.
Playing some delightful football particularly in the first half, Kwesi Appiah’s side brushed aside their opponents emphatically, kicking off qualifying for the AFCON tournament in 2019 in style.
The first game of Appiah’s second stint saw a number of interesting details, and Citi Sports’ Daniel Koranteng picks out the best of the bunch.
Massive Crowd Support
The return of Kwesi Appiah as Black Stars Head Coach seems to have reignited the nation’s love for the team. The attendance at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium was something we haven’t seen in a very long while.
The stadium was packed and the fans were on their feet cheering for the entire 90 minutes.
Kwesi Appiah’s starting lineup on the day proved that no player is guaranteed a starting place.
The exclusion of players like Jordan Ayew and Afriyie Acquah from the starting lineup coupled with the inclusion of four debutants was a clear and strong message from the Head Coach; everyone has to earn their place.
Team for the future
Kwesi Appiah promised at his unveiling that he intended to build a formidable team for the future that would stand the test of time. The game against Ethiopia saw 5 players out of the eleven who started aged 23 or under. Dwamena (21) who got a brace and Thomas Agyapong (20) were some of the standout performers on the day, and showed that Kwesi Appiah is a man with a clear plan.
The Head Coach also promised to produce good attacking football in his second stint in charge and it showed on the day. A delightful attacking display on the day which was duly rewarded with 5 unanswered goals made the team a joy to behold. This is the first time Ghana has scored more than four goals in a competitive encounter since beating Egypt 6-1 in 2013.
Competition for Places
The game against Ethiopia showed the strength in depth of the Black Stars Squad. The team was ruthless in their display even though it was missing a lot of ‘big names’ in the squad. Every player on the pitch showed why they deserved to be given a starting place in the team, and this will inject a huge competition for places in the team. The so called fringe players will be buoyed by fact that the team now seems to be based on merit rather than reputation.