Ghana was held to a scoreless stalemate by West African neighbours Ivory Coast
in an international friendly match at the Cape Coast stadium on Saturday.
Here are five things we learned from the game:
1. Disciplined defence
The most promising department of Ghana set up was the defence. From the last game in Morocco, they conceded one goal, though it was a goalkeeping error leading to that. Their performance in Cape Coast demonstrated significant improvement in that area even though the Ivorians tried to unlock the defence.
2. Lawrence Ati-Zigi seems to have learned lessons
Ati-Zigi started between the sticks ahead of Razak Abalora whose error helped Morocco beat the Black Stars 1-0 in Rabat a few days ago. Abalora took over the Ghana posts after Ati-Zigi’s abysmal in a 3-0 friendly loss against Mali. Ati-Zigi getting the opportunity again to man the goalposts proved his mettle having some fantastic saves to deny the Ivorians.
3. Goalscoring, a major concern
The Black Stars failing to hit the back of the net against Ivory Coast today leaves many questions than answers after they also failed to score in the friendly game against Morocco a few days ago in Rabat. CK Akonnor needs to work on his team’s scoring abilities before the World Cup qualifications begin in September.
The vacuum left in the Ghana team by legendary striker Asamoah Gyan will take years to be filled. Despite having a slight advantage in possession, Ghana couldn’t find a cutting edge leaving many people to remember the all-time top scorer.
5. CK Akonnor needs to back up
The draw against Ivory Coast means CK Akonnor has managed two victories in the last six matches he has led the Black Stars. The two wins came against Qatar and Sao Tome. This record raises a lot of questions about the capabilities of the former Ghana captain.