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FEATURE| Three key takeaways from Ghana’s defeat to Portugal – 2022 World Cup 

The Black Stars put up a spirited performance against Portugal in their 2022 World Cup Group H opener on Thursday.

But ultimately lost 3-2 at the Stadium 947 in the capital city of Doha.

Here are my three key takeaways from the game.

Mohammed Kudus is key to any success Ghana will have in Qatar

If there was ever any doubt about how important Kudus has become for the national team, well this game has put that to bed.  

Much of the country’s hopes will ride on the shoulders of the 22 year old who must continue to be a key protagonist if the Black Stars are to stand any chance of progressing from the group stage.

Against Portugal, the Ajax star started slowly but grew in confidence as the game went on. 

He was a constant threat especially after the recess and looked to be the only one who was capable of providing the moment of magic Otto Addo’s side desperately needed.

Ghana have every right to feel hard-done by after going down in the 65th minute courtesy of a very controversial penalty decision.

But Kudus stepped up with a brilliant run to set-up Andre Ayew for the equalizer in the 73rd minute before he was bizarrely subbed off four minutes later.

Otto Addo and his technical team must improve their game management 

As often is the case in football at the highest level, the minor details usually decide the outcome of games.  

And perhaps Otto Addo was watching a different match because the decision to take off Mohammed Kudus might actually be the biggest reason Ghana came out of that clash empty handed.

I am no coach and I’m probably the least qualified to give Otto Addo advice on the subject matter but I think even he knows that was the moment Ghana handed Portugal the game on a silver platter.

Jordan Ayew, Tariq Lamptey all failed to have the desired impact off the bench while Daniel Kofi-Kyere and Antoine Semenyo were simply not given enough time to make a mark.

Osman Bukari did provide a spark after coming on with a brilliant header to reduce the deficit late in the game.

Thomas needs to come to the PARTEY!

Thomas Partey’s performance was simply unacceptable. He was too passive and had no effect on the match whatsoever. 

The Arsenal star is a victim of his own lofty standards. He is after all one of the best midfielders in the world. Every footballer has bad days, but what separates the greats from the rest is how few and far between the mediocre performances are.

Hopefully, Ghana’s master puppeteer finds his rhythm against South Korea in their second Group game on Monday.


Daraja Kapoor

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