Whew!!! That was a close one yesterday a la Buju. But like I said yesterday before the game I didn’t care how it came about.
It was a gritty performance by the Black Stars yesterday in Luanda and they have bought themselves yet another game at the African Cup of Nations with a 1-0 victory against Burkina Faso. And better days may well be ahead as we grow from strength to strength.
We played doggedly and were tactically very disciplined. It wasn’t the best of performances but we fought hard and that spirit was in my view best exemplified by my boy Dede Ayew. Haminu Dramani brought some energy, creativity and strength to the right side of the pitch. A lot of people on radio today weren’t impressed with Dramani and I think that had to do with his waste of a few gilt-edged chances but for me he was full of running and provided adequate cover and a ready outlet for Samuel Inkoom, our right back.
Defensively, we were solid. We committed a few too many fouls which another more capable team may have exploited but for the most part, we were up to the aerial challenge that the Burkinabes presented. And after Mr. Tall of Burkina got sent off, we threatened to run riot but we weren’t clinical enough in front of goal.
A few other points. Essien must have been having the most interesting conversation on his phone, was talking to his feet so they heal miraculously before the next match or something but his body language in the stands the few times they showed him was not one of a captain being there for his team. He was there but his mind was faaaaaarrrrrrr away.
Kwadwo Asamoah had a quieter game but it was a brilliant game in my view. He attacked, he tracked back and held the line preventing any glaring breakdowns defensively.
Looking forward, I think our chances against the Angolans are just as good as any. I think the Angolans present a speed problem but I don’t see their defense as impregnable. See 4-4 draw as evidence of that. We will have to weather the early storm and settle down but after we do that I think they could be had.
Finally, I think the more matches the younger boys get the better for our World Cup qualification. It gives the boys confidence in the event they have to be on the pitch at the mundial.
On a trivial note, I think I like the red jersey with yellow stripes. Kuul.