Ghana struggles to win against Kenya

Ghana Struggles to secure a hard earned win against Kenya in the last AFCON 2019 qualifier to top the group with 9 points. The Kenyan team, the Harembee stars came in with a game plan to get a famous draw in Accra but the Black stars had other ideas.

Caleb Ekuban’s goal in the 82nd minutes broke the Kenyan hearts and foiled their strategy. The strike was purposeful, had power and swiftly ended in the net.

The match was expected to be tough but the Kenyan’s gave the Black Stars a lot to ponder over throughout the ninety minutes. Our prediction regarding the Kenyan game plan was spot on and so was the Black Stars win as well.

The Ghana Black Stars played the first 30 minutes without any serious incursions and threat in the goal area of the Kenyan team. At the half hour mark, the Kenyans had shown that they come to Accra to cause a serious problem for the black stars.

The Kenyan team cruised and dictated the midfield. A cross into the goal area by Ghana in the 35th minute was intercepted by the defence of Kenya before it could create problems. In the 36th minute, Andrew Dede Ayew scored a goal that looked like a clean one. He seemed to have kicked the ball into the net before having any contact with the goalkeeper who had not full control of the ball but the goal was disallowed and a foul was awared in favour of the Kenyan goal keeper.

Ghana Struggles to secure a hard-earned win against Kenya
Ghana Struggles to secure a hard-earned win against Kenya

The Kenyan goal keeper kept visiting the grass as though he was not ready to play anymore. Time delaying was part of the game and he played to his advantage and the team to make sure, they frustrate the Ghanaian team that was not potent enough in front of goal as at the 40th minute of the game, it was still dead lock and this result actually favoured the Kenyans.

The Black starts needed to win this game but had done nothing to prove they were hungry for victory. A mix up in the defence was halted by the ever smart and active Wakaso to foil the danger posed by the Kenyans. A chance went un converted as Kenya was left the hook after Atsu and haven skillfully beaten two players in the left wing, he made a swift incursion into the goal area of the Kenyan goal area but it never ended in a goal.

Christian Atsu getting to the tail end of the first half made his presence felt with his quick dribbling skills and incursions into the goal area. At this point, it looked as though the game was Christian Atsu Vs Kenyan. Ghana needed the three points badly while Kenya came into the game to pull a draw on the day. 

Wakaso’s free-kick was headed by John Boye which missed the goals narrowly. At the end of the first 45 minutes with was a goalless scoreline with less to see in terms of goal mouth events during the play.

In the first 45 minutes, the midfield never seemed to be present as the Kenya team dictated the game from the centre. The black star’s team lacked cohesion in the first half and over-elaboration by the players never helped the team. The Black Stars were not efficient even in an attempt to pass through the middle where the Kenyans were controlling until the black stars started using the flanks through one Christian Astu. However, on the day the Kenyans were not defending too deep in their goal area and were constantly calming the game and frustrating the Black Stars game plan.

An early free kick to Ghana was poorly taken by Wakaso and in less than a minute, Richard Ofori had to parry the ball over the cross bar to save Ghana and keep the Blacks Stars in the game.

From the 52nd minute of the game, Ghana started to mount the pressure on Kenya but Kenya managed to deal with it. The transition of the Black Star game from defence to attack was poor. The Stars kept pilling the pressure and grew in confidence but the goal was never coming. Eric Intiano was shown the Yellow card in the 57th minute for impeding Opare after he had bitten him at the left wing of the 18-yard box. Kenyan made its first substitution in the 60th minute as Mutamba came to replace Juma

Emmanuel Boateng’s first shot at goal was off target in the 64thminute. In the 67th minute, Caleb Akuban was introduced into the game. Matasi Patrick the Kenyan goalkeeper received a yellow card for delaying the game.

Crisp, fluid passing play between Jordan and Atsu nearly resulted in the needed goal to send the Black Stars to the top of the table but alas, that was never to be. An inswing delivery to the 18-yard box by Agbenyenu was too causal to cause any troubles for the Kenyan goalkeeper. 78 minutes into the game, the scoreline remained goalless until Caleb Ekuban’s goal in 82nd. On the day, Ghana really had to fight a tough battle to get the needed win.

The team needs to be polished, and prepared well before the AFCON kicks starts later in the year if Ghana is to perform well at the tournament she has failed to win in more than 30years. Could this year be Ghana’s year? Time will tell.

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