Ghana vs Cape Verde: Chris Hughton let us down

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Ghana vs Cape Verde - A Tactical Analysis - Chris Hughton let us down

The of Ghana faced a disappointing start in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations () as they succumbed to a late defeat against . Substitution Gary Rodrigues secured a victory for the Blue Sharks with a goal in additional time during the second half.

The defeat has raised concerns, particularly as Ghana has failed to secure a victory in any of their last four group-stage games on the continent. Joy Sports' Daniel Koranteng provided a comprehensive analysis of the match on Joy SMS, highlighting key areas where the team faced challenges.

Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer

Koranteng began by scrutinizing the role assigned to player Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer, stating, “The role that was given to Königsdörffer, I think he was set up to fail.” He emphasized structural issues, pointing out gaps in the team's formation during pressing and breaks, making it challenging for the players to execute their roles effectively.

Baba Iddrisu

Concerns were also raised about Baba Iddrisu's limited involvement after receiving an early yellow card. Koranteng suggested a proactive coaching approach, stating, “As a proactive coach, we take him off, bring in Salis who is fresh and can also do the defensive job and then you revert to what you were doing.”

Alexander Djiku

After Ghana's equalizer through Alexander Djiku, the team seemed to gain momentum and was chasing a winner. However, a series of substitutions made by altered the team's tempo, which Koranteng identified as a crucial factor in the performance decline.

Koranteng questioned the timing and choice of substitutions, expressing, “I don't understand how the coach takes off those two players who were involved in creating the best opportunity for Ghana on the day and then replaces them with players who will come and slow it down.”

“Look, if it was important for Dede to come on, at 1-1 if you look at your bench and need someone who could come and knick a goal, there are two things. It's either you are sticking Dede up top, taking Jordan off to bring more pace, attacking through the wings and swinging in as many balls as Dede to attack.

“In the first half, the sequence that led to Ashimeru's goal [which was eventually ruled out] came from a cross, the goal we scored came from a cross, Semenyo swinging it across for Paintsil came from a cross. Most of our very good chances came from crosses so we were right when we did our homework with . They struggle with crosses.

“You have someone as good as Dede in the box, why would you bring him on and keep him in and around the box but not in the box? It just sucked the luck out of the team, not because they are bad players but the timing of the substitution, not reading what the game needed and applying the right players to effect it. That is where the coaching let us down.”

He emphasized the importance of maintaining momentum, especially after an equalizing goal, and criticized the decision to substitute key players involved in creating opportunities.

The defeat leaves the at the bottom of Group B with zero points after the first round of games. The team is set to face in their next fixture on Thursday, January 18, at 20:00 GMT.

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