Ghana vs Cape Verde player ratings: Konigsdoffer flops; Djiku shines as Black Stars lose AFCON opener

The Black Stars of Ghana opened their 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament with a loss against Cape Verde in Group B in Abidjan.

Alexander Djiku of the Black Stars

The Island nation inflicted defeat on the Black Stars at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium, with goals from Jamiro Monteiro and Garry Rodrigues doing the damage, while Alexander Djiku’s strike only served as a consolation.

Mohammed Kudus and Inaki Williams were both left on the bench, as Chris Hughton made some tough calls in his starting line-up.

Check out how the starting XI fared in this game below:

Richard Ofori: 4/10 – Back in the Black Stars posts after a long while, Richard Ofori’s performance fed into the naysayers argument of choosing Richard Ati-Zigi over him. He was the busiest of the goalkeepers on the pitch and his parrying of a shot into the path of Cape Verdean attacker led Ghana conceding the first goal in the first half. He made amends in the second half by making two crucial saves that kept the score line respectable for Ghana


Denis Odoi: 3/10 – The Club Brugge lateral defender had a nightmare of a game. Easily one of Ghana’s worst players on the pitch and his lack of concentration to track his marker led to the opening for Cape Verde. He was tormented by Bebe of Cape Verde throughout the first half

Gideon Mensah: 5/10 – Gideon Mensah delivered a perfect cross for Ransord Yeboah who failed to hit the target in the first half. Aside that moment of brilliance, the AJ Auxerre defender had a quiet game for his standards.

Mohammed Salisu: 4/10 – The Monaco’s defender lack of game time due to injuries this season showed in this game. His lack of match fitness showed in his anticipation of passes and tackles and it was not a coincidence that his mistake led to the winning goal for Cape Verde in injury time.

Alexander Djiku: 8/10 – The busiest of Ghana’s centre back pairing, Alexander Djiku had to make some timely clearances in the first half to keep the score at 1-0 for the Cape Verdeans. An erratic tackle got him an early caution in the first half, however, he made it up by scoring Ghana’s equalizer and making two good tackles that kept Ghana in the game till they conceded in injury time.


Baba Iddrisu: 5/10 – Chosen ahead of Salis Samed, Baba Iddrisu had little to do offensively for the Black Stars. However, his timely interceptions and tackles provided a shield in front of the Salisu/Djiku backline.

Majeed Ashimeru: 7/10 – The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) robbed Ashimeru and the Black Stars a superb goal. Referee Ndala Ngambo of DR Congo had to use the VAR to cancel Ashimeru’s stupendous strike for the Black Stars in the first half. He was the spark of Ghana’s offense and a good run in the opening minutes of the game nearly gave the Black Stars an early lead.

Ransford-Yeboah Konigsdoffer: 2/10 – Arguably Ghana’s worst player in the game, Ransford Yeboah Konigsdoffer fluffed two great chances for Ghana in the first half. He was also the cause of the disallowed goal scored by Majeed Ashimeru as he was adjudged to be in an offside position and blinded the vision of the Cape Verdean keeper in the process.

Joseph Paintsil: 7/10 – The Racing Genk player was a bright for the Black Stars. His dazzling runs and take-ons kept the Black Stars in the game in the first half. He should have capped off his brilliant performance with a goal after Antoine Semenyo laid a beautiful pass for him to just tap in but he missed it.

Jordan Ayew: 5/10 – As one of the experienced players in the team, Jordan Ayew had a quiet game. He didn’t cause much damage to the Cape Verdeans on the flanks. Most of his set pieces too were erratic. But his overall work rate helped the Black Stars in this game.


Antoine Semenyo: 6/10 – The Bournemouth striker was picked ahead of Inaki Williams to lead the lines for the Black Stars. After an uneventful first half for Semenyo, he came alive in the second half and Ghana could have scored the second goal from his assist to Joseph Paintsil.


Unblock notifications in browser settings.

Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: