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2019 AFCON Qualifier: Losers and Winners From Ghana’s 1-0 Win Over Kenya

A redemption goal from substitute Caleb Ekuban shielded Kwesi Appiah’s disjointed Black Stars from media backlash less than 3 months to the 2019 AFCON slated for Egypt in the summer.

The unconvincing Ghanaian side failed to lay the gauntlet ahead of the continental showdown with only Mubarack Wakaso showing signs of a potential winning squad in a game that will go down as one of the worst outings in recent times.’ Saani Abacha takes a look at the winners and losers in the tight 1-0 win over the Harambee Stars at the Accra Sports stadium.

Adams Kassim Nuhu- Defender

The TSG Hoffeinhem central defensive guard ticked the boxes of a modern day defender and looked to have sealed a place not only in the 23-man squad for Egypt but a place in the starting XI. The former Young Boys FC defender oozed class at the back and showed his value despite the disjointed nature of the back four as a unit. Blessed with unique understanding of the game on the pitch, Kassim Nuhu added explicit passing skills to his game and sprayed passes like an irrigation sprinkler. The question now is who will partner the robust center back in Egypt. He certainly won the heart of the technical team and the pundits alike. A definite winner.

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Mubarrack Wakaso-Midfielder

He might not nomadic but his talent has been debatable with visual evidence seen on the pitch. The Spain based enforcer orchestrated all positive moves for the Black Stars and added defensive screen to his game as well. His instinctive passing skill provided room for tactical variation on the field with a solid 4-4-2 funneling into a 4-3-3 or even a 4-2-3-1 formation with the ball. The Deportivo Alaves enforcer capped his game with some ferocious drives as well and that could be the missing piece in the jig-saw puzzle heading into the bi-annual continental football festival. He certainly was a winner.

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John Boye-Defender

The name John Boye reminds Ghanaians of the 2014 FIFA World cup with the FC Metz defender remembered for his infamous dollar kissing ‘heroics’. The gargling defender has an eye for goal in his professional career as a defender and would have excelled further up the pitch than a defensive guard. His recent game against Kenya could as well spell doom heading into the 2019 AFCON with the defender failing to convince the technical team why he should be recalled. The France-based lanky defender barely showed signs of an experienced defender and would have ceded goals against any well organized side yesterday. The explosive nature of Joseph Aidoo and the return to action of Nicholas could as well end the hopes of John Boye. A bad day in the office for the FC Metz defender and certainly one of the losers.

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Emmanuel Boateng-Forward

The China based attacker seems to have lost his magic feet with nothing concrete coming from the Dalian Lifan attacker. A frustrating return to international football less than three months to the 2019 AFCON could cost the former Levante UD forward a place in the Black Stars squad. Having failed to score since his switch to the Chinese Super League, Emmanuel Boateng could as well trade his fame and professional careers for wealth and riches on Chinese soil. Competing with some sharp shooting striker for a place in the attacking machinery of the team, Boateng will have find his magic boots as soon as possible to avoid a looming axe from the team. A definite loser in the Kenya clash.

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Kwasi Appiah still has some time to work out on the tactics he wants to play in Egypt before coming out with his final 23-man squad since player selection is preceded by the system to be employed by the coach. The likes Daniel Opare, Jordan Ayew and even Andre Ayew will have to raise their games or risk missing out on the trip to Egypt in three months time.

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Saani Abacha

Saani Abacha is a sports writer with a keen interest in African Football and a product of team play. I love sports for a reason and derives my pleasure and happiness watching any kind of sporting discipline. Get in touch via Email| Twitter| @Saani_abacha On Whatsup| +233207413977.

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