Ghana must rebuild after heartbreaking loss

Ghana’s time at the 2022 FIFA World Cup comes to an end after a 2-0 defeat to Uruguay.

Looking for revenge

In 2009, Ghana becomes the first African country to achieve a FIFA tournament by reaching the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Egypt.

The following year they nearly become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup, unfortunately they falter to Uruguay on penalties. It looks like a new golden age of Black Stars football is upon us.

Twelve years later, Ghana is back at square one.

Heading into their final Group H match against Uruguay, the Black Stars were in the driver’s seat to go through. A win would have guaranteed their place in round of 16.

A draw could have been possible if Portugal had beaten South Korea.

Before the game, media and fans describe the confrontation as a revenge match, but the players play down those claims.

Before the match, a Ghanaian journalist tells Luis Suarez about his arms reputation in the West African country for his handball in 2010.

“I don’t apologize for that, I did the handball, but the Ghanaian player [Asamoah Gyan] missed the penalty, not me.

I could apologize if I injured a player with a tackle and got a red card, but in this situation I take a red card and the referee says a penalty.”

When crafting goes wrong

Head coach Otto Addo made two changes to his starting lineup. He replaced fullbacks Gideon Mensah and Tariq Lamptey with Baba Rahman and Alidu Seidu.

The latter performed worst in Ghana’s 3–2 defeat to Portugal.

It was confusing for them to return to the starting line-up in the most important game of their campaign.

Another formation change also takes place as the Black Stars line-up in 4-2-3-1 with Mohammed Kudus as the only striker.

The plan appeared effective, as Kudus drew a penalty early in the game. After a thorough VAR check, captain Andre Ayew approaches to take the penalty kick for Ghana.

Goalkeeper Sergio Rochet blocked the attempt. In the 26th minute a cross goes into the sixteen-meter area.

Daniel Amartey and Seidu cannot clear the ball. Suarez shoots the ball. Goalkeeper Lawrence Ati Zigi blocks the shot, but Giorgian de Arrascaeta heads the ball into the net with a simple header.

Another positional error by Seidu leaves the Arrascaeta unmarked and the midfielder completed a brace.

Too late

At halftime, Addo enlists Ayew and his younger brother Jordan. It could mean the end of an era. Andre is part of the Black Satellites team that made history in 2009 and he is on the 2010 team that loses to La Celeste in South Africa.

Many consider the siblings to be symbols of favoritism as their father is arguably the greatest Ghanaian footballer of all time in Abedi Pele.

In 2013, they were shocking retire from international football. The Ghana FA successfully convinces them to return soon.

After that, they are always selected for the national team, even if they are not in form with their respective clubs. The substitutions do not pay off, as Ghana cannot score and does not take advantage of a golden opportunity.

Rebuild time

After the match, Addo lays down his role. The former Black Stars international is focused on his job as an assistant coach at Borussia Dortmund.

In the future, the Black Stars are to be built around Kudus. The Ajax striker is a prodigious talent with the ability to become a world class player.

As the youngest team at the World Cup, there is plenty of talent to develop. Time together only brings chemistry. Hopefully this loss can serve as a starting point for a successful period.

Photo credit: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo

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