Coach Joachim Low wants Ghana’s World Cup opponents Germany to learn lessons after labouring to an unconvincing 1-0 win over Chile on Wednesday which led to jeers from the home fans over the lackluster performance.
Low’s men are among the favourites for this year’s FIFA World Cup having breezed through qualification without defeat, collecting nine wins and a draw.
But Chile served further notice that they, too, will be a team to watch in Brazil with a fine performance in Stuttgart.
Indeed, Low was quick to pay tribute to Jorge Sampaoli’s men.
“It’s always good to be reminded that there are good footballers not only in Germany,” he said in quotes reported by Bild. “We have a lot of work to do in the coming months.”
The boss’ sentiments were echoed by skipper Philipp Lahm.
“That was a lucky win,” he admitted. “We still have work ahead of us before the World Cup, it is clear.
“However, we are always well prepared for the World Cup. I’m not worried.”
Bastian Schweinsteiger focussed on the positives, saying: “Victory is victory; Chile are, after all, one of the best teams in South America.”
By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
Follow Akyereko on Twitter: @Akyereko
Bofoakwa Tano could be heading back to the Ghanaian top-flight league after seven seasons in the wilderness as they have toppled Techiman City FC to go top of the league.
The Sunyani-based side posted a comfortable 3-0 win over their regional rivals at the Coronation Park on Sunday to swap places and go top though on superior aggregate as they have 19 points.
But Bofo still have a game in hand as the Ghana FA’s disciplinary wing has ordered a replay of the game against bitter-rivals BA United which ended abruptly due to crowd violence.
With three games left to end the zonal league, Bofo appear in good shape to qualify for the play-offs and join former Premier League sides Fetteh Feyenoord, Great Olympics, RTU, Eleven Wise, Okwahu United and Tema Youth who have all taken commanding places in their respective zone.
Bofo used to be one of the biggest traditional clubs in the Ghanaian top-flight until they got relegated from the Premier League in the 2006/07 season.
Watch video of the full match of Ghana’s friendly 1-0 defeat at the hands Montenegro on Wednesday night in the Black Stars final match before they name the squad for the 2014 World Cup.
Please the video is in flash so you need a desktop computer to be able to watch it or flash-enabled tablet.
Uruguay superstar Luis Suarez is unrepentant as he has strongly defended his infamous handball against Ghana at the 2010 World Cup insisting “I did nothing evil to anyone.”
The quarter-final between the two sides had been level at 1-1 as the match approached extra time, but Ghana would have taken the lead in the last minute had Suarez not used his hand to keep out Dominic Adiyah’s header.
Suarez was sent off but Asamoah Gyan failed to convert the resulting penalty and, with the match ending 1-1, Uruguay claimed victory after a shootout.
The Liverpool striker, who had said after the game that his was “the real ‘hand of God,’” has again spoken of his pride at helping his country into the semifinals.
“I stick with the feeling of having helped my team,” he said ahead of the friendly with Austria.
“I stopped a goal, and I believe that it is worse when you stop a goal and injure an opponent, seriously injure them, and get sent off for that.
“Stopping a goal with my hand I believe did nothing evil to anyone — it was just stopping a goal.”
He insisted Gyan should bear the responsibility for Ghana’s failure to progress, adding: “The referee did the right thing — he sent me off and [Ghana] had a penalty. But the taker was a Ghana player, not me.”
Suarez was initially in tears after the incident but celebrated after Gyan missed.
“Afterwards came all the joy that Uruguay had won on penalties,” he said. “That is not something to feel bad about either, nor is it something strange.
“The referee did what he had to do. I stopped a goal and did not hit any opponent, nor did I injure anyone.”
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to become Portugal’s all-time leading goalscorer and inspire his nation to a 5-1 thrashing of Cameroon sending a warning to the Black Stars ahead of the World Cup in June.
The Real Madrid star was making his 110th international appearance and broke the deadlock 21 minutes in with his 48th goal for his country, overtaking Pauleta as Portugal’s most-prolific player almost 10 years after scoring his first against Greece in Euro 2004.
Cameroon were in no mood to let sentiment get in the way, however, and equalised two minutes before the break as Vincent Aboubakar hit an emphatic finish under the helpless Beto.
Portugal should have retaken the lead on multiple occasions leading up to the hour mark, but found half-time substitute Guy N’Dy Assembe in good form between the posts.
N’Dy Assembe, though, was powerless to prevent Portugal running riot in the last 25 minutes. Raul Meireles capitalised on a glaring defensive error before Fabio Coentrao, Edinho and Ronaldo wrapped up an easy win against a side who will join Portugal at the World Cup later this year.
Seleccao coach Paulo Bento spoke prominently in the build-up regarding the integration of younger players to the national team and he subsequently gave debuts to 20-year-old pair Rafa Silva and Ivan Cavaleiro.
The hosts got off to a bright start in Leiria, with Meireles pulling the strings as he first set Rafa up to shoot straight at Charles Itandje following a cutback.
Cameroon’s first chance of the match arrived in the 11th minute as Aboubakar burst in front of Rolando to meet a corner delivery, but Beto did well to keep the headed effort out to his left.
The visitors were made to regret that miss as Ronaldo gave Portugal the lead 10 minutes later.
Joao Pereira cut a precise pass back to Ronaldo on the edge of the area and, after a clever first touch to escape Nicolas N’Koulou, the Ballon d’Or winner drove his historic effort into the bottom-left corner.
Cameroon levelled just before the break, however.
Jean Makoun cleverly looped the ball over the Portugal defence for Aboubakar and all the Lorient man had to do was slot it under Beto.
Portugal appeared to have renewed enthusiasm after the break following a stuttering end to the first half and created several good opportunities
Itandje’s half-time replacement – N’Dy Aseembe – was forced into action twice in quick succession in the 56th minute as he first palmed away Coentrao’s half-volley before tipping a Ronaldo volley around the post.
Portugal eventually retook the lead 66 minutes in as Meireles pounced on a loose pass from Aurelien Chedjou to knock into an empty net before Coentrao made it 3-1 a minute later.
The Real Madrid man latched on to Cavaleiro’s clever disguised pass in the left side of the area before dispatching with admirable composure.
A fourth arrived 10 minutes later. Ronaldo dazzled Allan Nyom with several stepovers before flashing a low ball across the face of goal and Edinho was on hand for an easy finish.
And four became five in the 83rd minute as the Cameroon defence failed to get Miguel Veloso’s cutback under control and Ronaldo stole possession away before rifling a low shot past the goalkeeper.
Watch video of one of Ronaldo’s amazing goals against Cameroon
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Ghana’s 2014 World Cup opponent Germany secured a slim 1-0 win over Chile in an international friendly played in Stuttgart on Wednesday.
Mario Gotze’s 16th minute strike eventually proved enough to hand Jochim Low’s side a tough win over the talented South Americans.
Low used Wednesday to assess his players before naming his squad for the World Cup in Brazil.
The German trainer handed most of his misfiring stars such as Mesut Ozil an opportunity to impress against Jorge Sampaoli side.
Low has sounded a word of caution to his under-performing stars – telling them they wouldn’t be picked for the World Cup if they don’t improve.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose who had just returned from injury also got a run out.
It was however Bayern Munich’s new darling boy Gotze who did the most important thing by scoring in the 16th minute.
Low will now wait until May when he names his squad for the World Cup where the Germans will be facing Portugal, Ghana and the USA in Group G.
By Ameenu Shardow, follow on Twitter @alooameenu
Ghana’s 2014 World Cup opponent USA lost 2-0 to distable Ukraine in an international friendly played in Larnaca, Cyprus on Wednesday.
The full-forced Americans were shocked by the Ukrainian side that weren’t even sure they will turn up for the game due to political and civil unrest back home.
Striker Andriy Yarmolenko struck first with a cool finish in the 12th minute before Marko Devic sealed the win against Jurgen Klinsmann’s men.
The German tactician stood clueless on the touchline as he watched his side get whipped by the under-power Ukrainians.
America had nothing to show despite spending several weeks in a Brazilian camp way ahead of their campaign at the 2014 World Cup in June.
The Yanks will kick off their World Cup campaign against old nemesis Ghana on June 16 in Natal before facing Portugal and Germany in their subsequent Group G games.
James Kwesi Appiah assessed the strength of his side World Cup-bound player with the international friendly against Montenegro in Podgorica.
AC Milan star Michael Essien produced the most outstanding performance of the night as he held the midfield with experience and precision.
GHANAsoccernet.com rates the performances of the Black Stars in Podgorica.
Adam Kwarasey – 6.5
The Stromsgodset shot-stopper had to be at his best on two occasions in the first-half to deny the host from going 2-0 up.
Kwarasey expressed feline reflexes to keep Ghana’s hopes of snatching a point from the game alive but stood no chance of preventing Boskovic from scoring the only goal of the game from the spot.
Daniel Opare – 6
Kwesi Appiah deployed the Standard Liege versatile full-back at right-back and he overly impressed in the game.
His tackles were apt and manned his side of the defence well. He occasionally joined the attack.
David Addy – 5.5
Not the brightest of evenings for the Vitoria Guimaires defender as his tackle in the 1st minute resulted in the penalty that helped Montenegro to win the game.
He was substituted by Samuel Inkoom in the second half.
Jerry Akaminko – 6
A pillar at the back. The Turkish-based defender won most of the tackles he went into and kept the hosts attack at bay.
Akaminko had nurtured his confidence well enough.
John Boye – 5.5
The Stade Rennes man was playing his first game for the Black Stars since last August and he formed a good partnership with Akaminko in defence.
He came close to scoring twice in either halves but he missed his headers.
Michael Essien – 7
The AC Milan star was Ghana’s best player for the period he lasted on the pitch. With substantive captain Asamoaj Gyan starting from the bench, the ex-Chelsea star took the armband and proved his quality in the middle winning important tackles and distributing the balls in midfield with a measure of quality technique.
Mubarak Wakaso – 5
The Rubin Kazan midfielder appears to have experienced a dip in form and failed to impress in the 45 minutes he lasted on the pitch.
There was no telepathy between him and Christian Atsu in the Ghana midfield.
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu – 5
Subbed by Albert Adomah before the commencement of the second department, Badu could not produce one of his inspiring displays in midfield as he appeared underwhelmed.
He failed to impose himself in the game.
Christian Atsu – 5.5
The Chelsea loanee was not the dribbler known in Ghana games. He failed to gel and link up well with the rest of the midfield.
He always lacked the final bite in his play.
Abdul Majeed Waris – 6
The 22-year-old failed to find the back of the net on his tenth cap for the Black Stars. And, he formed a poor partnership with Jordan Ayew as he was pairing with him for the first time.
He completed the entire 90 minutes of the game.
Jordan Ayew – 5.5
Once the midfield failed to create scoring opportunities in the first half, Jordan was inefficient in attack and could not threaten the opposition goal.
He was replaced by Kevin Boateng in the 58th minute.
Albert Adomah – 5.5
Asamoah Gyan – 6
Samuel Inkoom – 5.5
Sulley Muntari – 5.5
Kwadwo Asamoah – 5
Montenegro recorded a famous 1-0 win over World Cup finalists Ghana in an international friendly match played in Podgorica on Wednesday night indicating more work to be done before the Black Stars appear at the tournament in June.
An early penalty converted by Dejan Damjanovic was all that the home side needed to record the important win at the City Stadium, in the match the Black Stars used as a warm-up for the World Cup in June.
Left-back David Addy fouled Filip Kasalica at the edge of the box on 15 seconds after he failed to clear at the first attempt which resulted in the penalty and the referee pointed at the spot.
Damjanovic sent the goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey the wrong way to seal victory for the side but for the agility of the shot-stopper the home side could have won by a wider margin.
The introduction of top players like Kevin-Prince Boateng, Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan and Kwadwo Asamoah in the second-half brought some urgency into the Ghana game while goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic had to be in top top shape to deny Boateng and Gyan.
Both sides failed to create clear cut chances in the early exchanges as the defensive pair of Nikola Vukcevic and Marko Basa kept Ghana strikers Majeed Waris and Jordan Ayew at bay with their physical presence.
Ghana captain Michael Essien was clearly the most outstanding player on the pitch as he won most tackles and made some timely tackles in the match which drew admiration from the home fans.
Kwarasey prevented the home side from extending their lead in the 33rd minute when he dived to his left to save Filip Kasalica goalbound effort after the striker had beaten the Ghanaian defenders.
Kwesi Appiah made three straights substitutions at the start of the second half. Samuel Inkoom came on for David Addy, Sulley Muntari for Agyemang-Badu and Albert Adomah on for Mubarak Wakaso.
The changes nearly resulted in the equalizer but Abdul Majeed Waris diving header went just wide in the 46th minute.
Substitute Sulley Muntari tried his trademark piledriver but the ball ricochet off a defender for a resultant corner kick which was eventually wasted six minutes later.
Ghana enjoyed the chunk of possession but failed to make that count after going down at the City stadium.
The match forms part of preparations for the Africans ahead of the World Cup which kick starts in June this year.
However, the defeat will surely spark massive talk in the West African country as Kwesi Appiah sizes up his squad for the mundial.
Ghana line up:
Adam Kwarasey, Daniel Opare, David Addy/Samuel Inkoom, Jerry Akaminko, John Boye, Michael Essien/Kwadwo Asamoah, Christian Atsu/Asamoah Gyan, Agyemang Badu/Sulley Muntari, Majeed Waris, Jordan Ayew/Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mubarak Wakaso/Albert Adomah.
Stephen Adams, Jonathan Mensah, Andre Ayew.
What do you think of the Black Stars performance tonight? Were you satisified? If not what should be done to improve the team? Make your views known in the box below
2013 FIFA U20 World Cup star Kennedy Ashia hit a brace to help Liberty Professionals hand down a 3-1 defeat to Sekondi Hasaacas in the Ghana Premier League on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old who rejoined the Dansoman-based club from a loan spell with Norwegian side FK Brann shot Liberty ahead in the 63rd minute with a prolific finish before Ghana U20 invitee Tamimu Montari added the second four minutes later.
Frederick Quayson halved the deficit for Hasmal with a good finish from inside of the box in the 78th minute to give them hope of savaging a point from the game.
But Ashia enhanced his scoring credentials with another fantastic strike to seal the win for Liberty and end their winless run.