What are the big lessons learned from the Black Stars’ 3-0 friendly defeat?
Salisu is ready for the Black Stars
Salisu was introduced for Ghana in the second half and looked comfortable in the international environment, dealing effectively with some of the world’s finest forwards and ensuring that there was no repeat of the disastrous first half.
He looked comfortable on the ball, made a series of vital defensive contributions and may now need to be fast-tracked to the starting XI.
Salisu even earned praise from Black Stars legend Asamoah Gyan, who gave him a thumbs up on social media following an accomplished display.
Back three for the World Cup?
Otto Addo acknowledged after the match that he may have got his system wrong during the contest, and indeed, a switch to a back three with Salisu dropped into the defence immediately made the Black Stars look stronger.
Perhaps it was because Brazil, amidst some substitutions as well, eased off after taking such a commanding lead, but there were some reasons for encouragement after that second-half display.
After such an improvement in comparison to that first 45, it would be a surprise if Ghana didn’t adopt a back three for Tuesday’s game against Nicaragua…and for the World Cup.
Partey can’t be trusted
Once again, Thomas Partey let Ghana down when they needed him, with the midfielder withdrawing from the starting XI only moments before kickoff.
It’s understandable that the Arsenal midfielder wasn’t risked after feeling some discomfort in his knee, although it was a timely reminder of the player’s fragility and ongoing fitness concerns.
Not only did his absence deny Ghana one of their best players, it also threw the midfield into disarray only minutes into the contest.
It’s perhaps little surprise that the Black Stars were so open during their dismal first half.
Time for Samed?
Without Partey, Ghana’s midfield was a particular area of weakness.
They looked frail and off the pace compared to their Brazilian opponents, and it was little surprise that the Selecao dominated possession during the one-sided showing.
The midfield were unable to get a handle on the game even though—in Salis Abdul Samed—they can call upon one of the most in-form midfielders in Europe’s major leagues today.
The 22-year-old has looked the part for Racing Club de Lens in France this season so far, registering a 93.6 percent success rate, and Ghana can’t continue to leave such a talent on the outside when they cannot keep hold of the ball effectively.
Ghana aren’t the Brazil of Africa
This match was billed as a showdown between Brazil and the Brazil of Africa, a nickname Ghana have worn since their 1960s heyday.
Well the moniker wore a little thin on Friday.
Ghana neither had Brazil’s dominance, nor their flair, with the Selecao bossing the game and—via the likes of Richarlison and Neymar—clearly enjoying themselves in the process.
This was a reminder of how far Ghana have fallen since their glory years in the 60s when they were seen as Africa’s equivalent of the South American giants.
Inaki should start ahead of Afena-Gyan
Wonderkid Felix Afena-Gyan led the line for the Black Stars against Brazil, but struggled to impose himself on the contest.
He registered just one shot—a weak effort that was easily saved by Alisson—and he looked a little rusty, perhaps unsurprising considering he’s played just 22 minutes in Serie A for new club Cremonense.
Between now and the World Cup opener against Switzerland, Addo must install Inaki Williams—who attempted six shots after being introduced for his debut—as the Black Stars’ leading man.
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