Prodigy Boakye scores in Serie A debut
Ghanaian youngster Richmond Yiadom Boakye has made history by becoming the first player from the West African country to score in his debut in the Italian top flight.
The 17-year-old substitute fired Genoa into the lead in their clash with Livorno on Saturday to underline his status a player to watch for the future.
But Livorno dented Genoa's hopes of playing in Europe again next season as they grabbed a late equaliser to take a share of the spoils in a draw at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Some of Ghana's notable players like Abedi Pele, Stephen Appiah, Sulley Muntari, Gargo Mohammed and Kwadwo Asamoah have the experience of playing in the top league but none of them scored in debuts in the ultra-defensive league.
But Genoa debutant Boakye put his side ahead in the 51st minute, and Livorno responded well and ultimately deserved their equaliser from Francesco Tavano two minutes from time.
David Suazo's game ended after just 12 minutes after he had wasted two excellent chances to put the home side ahead.
Indeed the whole of the Genoa team seemed to be scared to take a shot and the home fans had to wait until the 44th minute before seeing their side's first real attempt at goal.
And it came from Boakye, on for Suazo in the 12th minute to make his debut for the first team at the age of 17.
As Raffaele Palladino this time turned down the chance to shoot, the ball fell for the Ghanaian striker, who struck a shot just wide of the post from 20 yards.
It was just what the home side needed to lift them and they went ahead with their second attempt on goal, again from Boakye.
He controlled Giandomenico Mesto's chipped pass in front of Livorno goalkeeper Rubinho before volleying it into the roof of the net from close range to mark his debut in style.
The former Bechem United player will surely attract interest from Ghana's next U20 team as the country prepares to defend Africa's first U20 World Cup title.
With talented players like Aaron Amoah, Jordan Ayew and Kwame Nsor already in the reckoning for a place in the Black Satellites team, Ghana will surely be a team to watch for the future.
Genoa lose ground on their city rivals Sampdoria, their opponents in the derby next week, in the race for a place in Europe next season while Livorno move level on points with Siena at the foot of the table.
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