The Black Stars comfortably beat Japan by two goals in a friendly on Wednesday.
Ghana took the lead after stunning free kick by Thomas Partey early in the first half. Emmanuel Boateng sealed the game with a late second-half penalty.
Ghanafans.com takes a look at the key talking points from Wednesday’s game.
Kicking off AFCON 2019 preparations in style
Since the Black Stars failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, preparations for AFCON 2019 started on Wednesday. The next few months gives Kwasi Appiah ample time to work with the squad for the 2019 AFCON in Cameroon. Beating Japan, who topped their World Cup qualifying group, is a good start. The hard work now begins as the nation sets their sight on that elusive 5th Cup of Nations trophy.
Memories from Brazil 2014 rear their ugly heads
It was widely reported and later confirmed that two players dropped out due to low appearance fees. Afriyie Acquah and Mubarak Wakaso opted out of the squad because they felt a $2000 bonus was too small.
This is a huge issue.
✅ Ghana coach confirms basically that two players did NOT play for the national team despite being called…
✅ …Because $2000 bonus was NOT enough for them.
✅ Sends a bad message to upcoming players. https://t.co/VJVWteqTwe
— Gary = (@garyalsmith) June 1, 2018
It’s so sad to see that we have not moved on since 2014; money still rules in Ghana football. I say the next time players withdraw for such reasons, they should be punished by the GFA.
The boys are good
The Black Stars fielded a first XI with an average age of 23.27 years. A bold step in the right direction for the national team.
Black Stars XI vs Japan (kickoff 10:30GMT)
— Saddick Adams (@SaddickAdams) May 30, 2018
The old guard is in need of remodeling and these new youngsters are the right bunch to step up. Richard Ofori (24), Lumor Agbenyenu (21), Thomas Partey (24) and Emmanuel Boateng (22) are set to be the spine of this new-look Black Stars. The future is in good hands.
Thomas Partey is the future
Breaking out from the academy into one of the best teams in Europe is no easy feat. In the past few seasons, Thomas Partey has achieved just that at Atletico Madrid. The all-action midfielder is a key member of Diego Simeone’s Atletico team. Partey is no doubt the best player in our XI at the moment. At club level, he plays in defensive midfield but Kwasi Appiah releases the shackles for him to perform at national level. He has proven himself to be a goal threat, with six goals in 15 caps for Ghana. Whatever magic Kwasi Appiah works with Partey seems to turn into goals on the pitch. We must make sure we cherish Thomas Partey, he is our national treasure.
We’ve finally found a ‘keeper
After horrific goalkeeping displays at national level, we have finally found a solution. The days of Razak Braimah and Fatau Dauda howlers are over. Richard Ofori has taken over and has staked his claim to be Ghana’s long-term number one.
A fine display against the Samurai Blue of Japan was telling of the keeper’s shot-stopping ability. A clean sheet on Wednesday further cemented his case to be the first name on Kwasi Appiah’s team sheet.