Ghana had a bad outing at the just-ended 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The Black Stars finished bottom of Group H with Portugal topping whiles South Korea finsihed second ahead of Uruguay on goal difference – both teams finished with four points apiece.
The Black Stars recorded three points from three games – losing to Portugal and Uruguay and beating South Korea. They scored five goals and conceded seven.
Coach Otto Addo resigned his position in the immediate post-match press conference.
The BBC in its wrap of the performance of African teams at the tournament zoomed in on Ghana’s pre-tournament ‘recruitment’ of players in major leagues in Europe to play for the side.
In a piece on the BBC Africa site titled: “World Cup 2022: Six things Africa learned at historic finals,” a subheading “Ghana recruitment yet to bear fruit,” pointed out how the Black Stars flattered to decieve in Qatar.
It, however, picked out the impact of Ajax’s attacking midfielder, Mohammed Kudus, especially his stellar performance against South Korea.
Full analysis: Ghana recruitment yet to bear fruit
Ghana squeaked into the tournament with an away goals win over Nigeria in the World Cup play-offs but it was clear they needed more quality ahead of the World Cup itself.
So alongside technical director Chris Hughton, they set about persuading players with Ghana heritage to join the project – with defenders Mohammed Salisu and Tariq Lamptey and forward Inaki Williams among those coming in.
Recruiting players with dual nationality after World Cup qualification itself raised questions in Ghana both before and after the finals, especially with the Black Stars exiting in the group stages – even if they did at least gain revenge on their 2010 foes when helping knock out Uruguay.
“Football is beautiful, sometimes it is ugly – it was ugly for us today,” said coach Otto Addo after the costly loss. “I’m very sure we will learn from this.”
Yet Addo soon resigned, leaving behind a World Cup squad built for the future with 12 players aged 23 or under – including Brighton and Hove Albion’s Lamptey and Bristol City forward Antoine Semenyo.
There is none finer however than one of Africa’s outstanding youngsters – Mohammed Kudus, 22 – with the attacking midfielder’s class shining through and resulting in two goals in Ghana’s solitary win.