May 30, 2024
SPORTS

Ghana’s AFCON 2023 campaign lacks spark as Namibia holds Black Stars in final friendly

Ghana’s preparations for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) are raising concerns just six days before the Black Stars commence their campaign in the Ivory Coast.

In their final friendly match on Monday evening, the Black Stars settled for a lacklustre goalless draw against Namibia at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi. The uninspiring performance left fans disappointed and questioning the team’s capability to make a significant impact in the upcoming tournament.

Despite being ranked 61st by FIFA, the four-time African champions struggled to create clear-cut opportunities against Namibia, ranked 115th. The stalemate marks Ghana’s fifth game under Coach Chris Hughton, with only one victory against Madagascar and defeats to Mexico, USA, and Comoros.

The 0-0 draw with Namibia is particularly alarming for Ghana, as it signifies the fifth instance where the team failed to score under Hughton’s management.

The first half of the game which was not broadcast on television at coach Hughton’s insistence showcased an uninspiring performance, with a marginal improvement in the second half, yet the Black Stars were unable to put the Namibians to the sword.

Despite substitutions implemented by Hughton in the latter part of the match, Namibia resiliently held on for the draw, leaving fans at the stadium disappointed.

As Ghana struggles to exhibit an intense style of play, apprehensions are growing ahead of their Group B opener against Cape Verde on January 14. The Black Stars will face additional challenges in the group stage, taking on seven-time African champions Egypt before concluding their group fixtures against Mozambique.

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