5 things we learned from Ghana vs Nicaragua game

We take a look at five major talking points from Ghana’s narrow win against Nicaragua…

5 things we learned from Ghana vs Nicaragua game

Otto Addo has been trending on social media in the last 24 hours following Ghana’s friendly game against Nicaragua.

Despite recording a narrow win against the Central American nation, the Black Stars’ performance was not too convincing.

A first-half strike from Fatawu Issahaku was the difference between the two teams, with Ghana recording just their second win under Addo.

Below, we take a look at the five major talking points from Tuesday’s game.

Otto Addo’s substitutions remain suspect

A questionable trait from previous Ghana coaches has been their failure to make decisive changes when things get tough.

Kwasi Appiah, CK Akonnor and Milovan Rajevac all couldn’t effect games from the bench and it appears Addo is equally toeing the same line.

The Black Stars boss made eight changes to the side that lost to Brazil when he named his starting XI for the Nicaragua game. However, he took too long to ring the in-game substitutions, with his first change coming with less than a quarter of an hour left.

His decision to bring Daniel Afriyie Barnieh on in the 92nd minute was also very questionable and he needs to do better if Ghana is going to do well in Qatar.

Alidu Seidu grabs his chance

Alidu Seidu was first invited in July but rarely played in the AFCON qualifiers and the Kirin Cup in Japan.

Named in the starting line-up against Nicaragua on Tuesday, the Clermont Foot right-back took his chance and played very well.

He was one of Ghana’s best players against Nicaragua, tracking back nicely and also joining the attack when he needed to. Tariq Lamptey and Denis Odoi are bound to be ahead of Seidu in the pecking order but the youngster's performance against Nicaragua has increased his chances of joining the plane to Qatar.

Ghana’s wastefulness a concern

Ghana’s narrow win against Nicaragua was not purely a tactical problem. In truth, the individual players were also wasteful on the day.

The team created enough chances to have won the game more handsomely, but they just couldn’t convert any of them. Inaki Williams and Kudus Mohammed were the worst culprits and such profligacy must be corrected very quickly before the Black Stars grace Qatar.

Kofi Kyereh deserves to be a starter

Another player who distinguished himself during the game against Nicaragua was Daniel Kofi Kyereh. Given a rare start against the minnows, the Freiburg midfielder played exceptionally.

Kyereh was composed in the middle of the park and his ability to shield the ball from his markers and recycle play was evident.

Per his performances, he has earned the right to be a starter for Ghana. Another reason for Otto Addo to consider this is that, Kyereh is more suited to the no.10 role than Mohammed Kudus, who usually prefers to hold on to play, rather than release his teammates upfront.

Ghana’s problems run deeper than the Ayews

Many Ghanaians yearned to see the Ayew brothers, Andre and Jordan, dropped and they finally had their wish against Nicaragua.

However, the Black Stars were still underwhelming, which begs the question: is the team’s problems more systematic than personnel-based?

It’s clear the strikers of the team – Inaki Williams being the latest – usually lack service, which makes it difficult for them to thrive and that is not on the Ayew brothers. Whoever plays in such a system will struggle and it’s about time Addo and the technical team find a way to play to the strengths of the team’s best players.

More from category