Ghana's No. 1

AFCON 2023 Qualifiers: Five things learned from Ghana’s narrow win over Angola

Published on: 23 March 2023

In Chris Hughton's first match as manager of Ghana's national team, the Black Stars were pushed to their limits before securing a 1-0 victory over Angola. The Palancas Negras frustrated Ghana throughout the match, but Antoine Semenyo's late goal saved the day for the home side.

Here are five things we learned from the game.

Hughton's uninspiring start

Chris Hughton faces a considerable challenge ahead as the performance of the Black Stars in their recent match was far from inspiring. Despite securing a win, the slow build-up and lack of intensity in their play point towards a need for improvement in various areas. Hughton is aware of the work that lies ahead to elevate the team's performance and get them back to winning ways in a dominant fashion.

Kumasi is still the home of Ghana football

Despite doubts about the turnout at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, the fans came out in droves to support the Black Stars. The stadium was nearly full, and the fans were rewarded for their loyalty with a late goal that sparked massive celebrations. The game showed that Kumasi is still the heart of Ghanaian football.

Antoine Semenyo takes his chance

Antoine Semenyo, who came on as a substitute, made an instant impact, scoring the winning goal for Ghana. With two goals in two games, Semenyo has proven that he deserves a starting place in the Black Stars' line-up. In contrast, Inaki Williams failed to impress once again and may not start in the next game.

Lawrence Ati-Zigi ahead of Jojo Wollacott

Before the match, there was a question about who would be Ghana's first-choice goalkeeper: Lawrence Ati-Zigi or Jojo Wollacott. While many had predicted that Wollacott would start, Hughton went with Ati-Zigi. Ati-Zigi had started in goal in Qatar because Wollacott was injured, and he gave a solid performance on Thursday. It seems that Ati-Zigi is now the preferred goalkeeper, having beaten out Wollacott for a starting spot once again.

 Black Stars close in on another Afcon qualification

The win over Angola puts Ghana in a strong position to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Ivory Coast next year. They are currently three points clear at the top of their qualifying group and will secure qualification with another win over Angola on Monday in Luanda. This would mark their ninth consecutive appearance in the tournament.

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