Afcon 2019: Ghana 2-2 Benin – Five takeaways

Talking points from the Black Stars' draw with the Squirrels.

Ghana’s Black Stars failed to make quite the statement as they shared spoils with the Squirrels of Benin at the Ismailia Stadium Tuesday night.

The Ayew brothers – Andre and Jordan – scored in the first half to put Ghana in a 2-1. Mickael Pote scored at both halves of the game to end the game 2-2.

Now with Cameroon beating Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in the earlier group F game, the group is open. Ghana will have to hope for a better result against Cameroon in the next group game on Saturday, June 29 and Guinea Bissau will hope to also secure their first Afcon point against Benin.

These are’s five talking points from the four-goal thriller:

Kwasi Appiah’s position comes into question

After a fine first half that saw the Black Stars of Ghana leapfrogging the Squirrels into the lead through the Ayews to cancel Pote’s first goal for Benin, the second half proved very different and the tactical acumen of the Black Stars technical team was under test when John Boye was sent off for a second yellow card at the 54th minute.

Michel Dussuyer, the opposite manager decided to throw in two attacking players; Jodel Dossou and Mama Seibou whilst Coach Kwasi Appiah decided to take off Samuel Owusu, a first half sub, for Jonathan Mensah to shield the lead which was cut short just a minute after the introduction of Joel Dossou – Dussuyer’s substitutions actually worked for him and his Benin side.

And the Benin team went on to control and have the better of everything on the night.

Black Stars central defensive leakages

The central defensive pair of John Boye and Kassim Nuhu found it very difficult to deal with the Squirrels attack. The two, before the 54th minute red card to John Boye, were showing incompatibility in their duties as they allowed a lot of fouls under little duress.

Beside the red card to John Boye, Kassim Nuhu also went into the referee’s books for a tackle on Steve Mounie. That unit was clearly Ghana’s weakest link on the day.

Potent attack, good suppliers from the midfield

Two of Black Stars’ 3 shots on target resulted to 2 goals, despite having just 7 attempts at goal with 2 of the strikes blocked by the Squirrels’ defense.

The midfield combination of Thomas Partey and Mubarak Wakaso seemed okay but could have done far more against the Squirrels. In their good moments, the duo looked defensively solid especially after going a man down.

The Boye giveaway

If Ghana dropped valuable points, that John Boye red card obviously caused it. A very needless second yellow card from the most experienced head in the defensive department of the team. Whatever might have overtaken his thinking – to elect himself for a free-kick then leave the ball behind while play was expected to resume knowing he was one caution away from being sent off, only Boye can explain. Time-wasting just nine minutes into second half? Again, only the ‘boy’ can explain.

Kwasi Appiah now has the headache of finding a perfect fit to partner Kassim Adams in Saturday’s crucial game against Cameroon.

Another night of records for Abedi Pele-lites

While Andre Ayew was forcefully scoring the initial equalizer to put Ghana level and becoming the country’s all-time leading scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations with 9 goals, his younger brother Jordan was preparing to join him on board to set another record.

Jordan Ayew’s stupendous strike to give Ghana the lead moments before halftime meant the brothers were for the third time scoring in the same match in successive Afcon tournaments – 2015, 2017 and 2019.

  • Afcon 2015 – Ghana 3-0 Equatorial Guinea – The Ayews scored
  • Afcon 2017 – DR Congo 1-2 Ghana – The Ayews scored
  • Afcon 2019 – Ghana 2-2 Benin – The Ayews scored

From the quintet of Abedi Pele, Kwame, Andre, Rahim and Jordan, the Ayews have jointly scored nineteen goals in the Africa Cup of Nations, making them the highest scoring family in the history of the competition.





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