Sports Features of Friday, 11 January 2013
MTNFootball.com assesses the performances of the Black Stars against Egypt in Thursday's pre-Africa Cup of Nations friendly in Abu Dhabi.
Ghana's goals were scored by Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Richmond Boakye-Yiadom and Asamoah Gyan.
Fatau Dauda 8/10
The AshGold shot-stopper took over the gloves from regular Adam Kwarasey and hugely impressed on his second full Ghana debut.
The 27-year-old twice denied the Pharoahs with world class saves.
In the 69th minute, he timed his movement well to block a powerful low drive from Omar Gaber before stopping his magnificent save from an Amr Zaky pile-driver.
Harrison Afful 7/10
Afful was restored to his natural right-back role and he appeared comfortable in the opening half until he crashed into Ahmed Al Shenawy, the Egyptian goalkeeper.
However after the break, he found his rhythm and played the fine tune of the team until he was subbed in the 55th minute mark by Solomon Asante.
He won the free-kick that resulted in Ghana's opening goal.
Jerry Akaminko 7/10
Though Egypt failed to create enough scoring opportunities from open play, the presence of an Akaminko and Boye partnership made their attack appeared even more vulnerable.
The Eskisehirspor center-back used his superior height to its maximum and appeared confident and comfortable in dealing with area balls.
John Boye 7/10
Boye was even more commanding as he marshalled the defence. He helped keep Al Sayed Hamdy and Ahmed Hassan Mekky in close check.
He seems to have mastered the act of dealing with opposition attacks and the Egyptians appeared no match for him on the night.
Anthony Annan 5/10
The Osasuna man was handed the armband with captain Gyan and Derek Boateng watching from the substitute bench.
However the pocket-size middle man lasted just 27 minutes after sustaining an injury.
Kwadwo Asamoah 8/10
The Juventus man underlined his impressive form for the Old Ladies in the Serie A even from a makeshift left-back in a diamond 4-3-2-1 formation.
A measure of his artistry and brilliance in the 54th minute set up his former club-mate Richmond Boakye-Yiadom who buried his close range effort with a precise finish.
The Egyptians failed to break down the barrier set by Asamoah on the left as he employed his physique and power to overcome his markers.
Wakaso Mubarak 7/10
The Espanyol man proved his worth with his crucial perseverance in what seemed like a ree role.
His powerful cross from the left set up Agyemang-Badu for Ghana's opening goal at the Sheikh Zayed Sports City.
Mohammed Rabiu 6/10
Rabiu was average in the middle and appeared somehow overshadowed by the performance of Badu, Annan and Boateng.
He however proved to be the best holder of the ball and also showed some good distribution skills.
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu 9/10
Agyemang-Badu was by far the most impressive player on the night.
He opened the scoring with a slamming header from a Mubarak Wakaso free-kick and nearly grabbed a brace on 56 minutes.
Badu's pace, physique and power told on the Egyptians.
Emmanuel Clottey 5/10
The Esperance striker was slow in attack and failed to pick up the rhythm of the game.
Albert Adomah's pace and style somehow appeared incomprehensible to him as he looked clueless.
Kwesi Appiah's decision to substitute him before the start of the second-half was enough evidence.
Albert Adomah 6/10
The Bristol City man ensured his speed on the right flank counted a lot. He sent in some crosses which need some polishing though.
Adomah was enterprising and early on in the second half, his crispy cross nearly resulted in the opener but Boakye-Yiadom's header took a deflection.
Derek Boateng 7/10
After replacing Annan who suffered an injury in the 27th minute, the Fulham-bound midfielder did the job worth his sort.
He well marshalled the middle with his intelligent ball distribution and looked illustrious and composed.
Though he committed some few blunders which cannot take the shine off his glittering night.
Richmond Boakye-Yiadom 8/10
The Sassuolo man looked well composed in attack as he kept his composure to score Ghana's second goal just nine minutes into the second half.
He timed his runs and positions well.
The on-loan Juventus player could have recorded a brace had it not been a quick reaction from the Egyptian goalkeeper in the 78th minute.
Solomon Asante 6/10
Asante came off to replace Harrison Afful after 55 minutes and he advertised some thrilling runs and dexterous moves down the right flanks.
His combination with his Chelsea teammate Kissi Boateng nearly brought a fourth goal for Ghana in the 86th minute.
Christian Atsu 7/10
The FC Porto whiz kid was the usual Atsu with his dazzling moves and thrills.
A dexterity ensured Asamoah Gyan scored the third goal in the 83rd minute.
Richard Kissi Boateng 5/10
Boateng came off to replace Wakaso and gave a good account of himself with some lethal raids on the flanks.
Asamoah Gyan 6/10
Gyan lasted just 11 minutes and in these 11 minutes, he ensured his ball found the back of the net.
The Al Ain home latched onto a Christian Atsu sublime pass to slot home the third goal for Ghana.