By Patrick Akoto
Ghana recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Egypt in an international friendly ahead of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday night.
Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu was the man to get the ball rolling for his side with the first goal in the first period, and despite occasional threats from their opponent, the Ghanaians marched on to score another two goals and claim a sound victory.
The West African giants started superbly with great inter-positional and calm passes from the heart of midfield.
Badu opened the floodgate with the opener in the 18th minute with a solid header from Mubarak Wakaso’s cross that beat goalkeeper Ahmed Al Shenawy.
The Black Stars begun the second half brightly with youngster Richmond Boakye-Yiadom replacing Emmanuel Clottey in the 46th minute and the on-loan Juventus striker wasted no time in registering his name on the scoresheet with the second.
Boakye kept his composure to slot home from close range after connecting beautifully from an intelligent pass from Kwadwo Asamoah in the 54th minute.
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu could have bagged a brace after his searing header was cleared off the line by Mohammed Abdul Shafy.
Captain Asamoah Gyan who came on in the second to replace Rabiu Mohammed sealed victory with a cool finish 7th minutes from time.
There are however injury concerns for the Ghanaians after midfielder Anthony Annan limped off early in the first half, with his position taken by Derek Boateng.
People will say it is unwise to read too much into such friendly matches, yet critics would have been doing exactly that had Kwesi Appiah’s men lost.
Instead they coped quite admirably, scoring fine goals and defending capably against the former African champions.
There are greater challenges ahead, and perhaps more motivated opponents, but this was a performance which could derive varied interpretations.
The Ghanaians will perhaps face their biggest test when they play Tunisia in their last warm-up game on Sunday.
With the continental showpiece around the corner, Africa’s international teams are in full swing, testing out their last-minute tactical and personnel changes before the big tournament kicks off on January 19.
Ghana’s Starting X1
Fatau Dauda, Harison Afful (Solomon Asante 55’), John Boye, Jerry Akaminko, Anthony Annan (Derek Boateng, 27’), Kwadwo Asamoah, Albert Adomah, Wakaso Mubarak (Richard Kissi-Boateng 74’), Rabiu Mohammed (Asamoah Gyan 79’), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Christian Atsu 66’), Emmanuel Clottey (Richard Boakye-Yiadom 46’).
Adam Kwarasey, Daniel Agyei, Isaac Vorsah, Jonathan Mensah, John Pantsil , Awal Mohammed.
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