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06.02.2015 Cup of Nations

Ayew Brothers led Ghana to Afcon final

By Emmanuel Gyamfi
Ayew Brothers
LISTEN FEB 6, 2015
Ayew Brothers

I will have to start with the disgraceful scenes at the stadium in Malabo, where the Equato-Guinean fans did themselves no justice by throwing objects onto the pitch and at the Ghanaian visiting support.

By then, the game had travelled 82 minutes with Ghana leading comfortably 3-0. What happened effectively poisoned what had been a very well organized tournament so far.

Credit would have to be given to the security forces who did well to manage the situation, but it proved to be a very dark night for African football.

With respect to the game itself, the Black Stars found it tough against the hosts, who played well, but credit to the entire team for continuing to plug away.

Andre Ayew led the charge; combining well with Kwesi Appiah and Christian Atsu.

I thought Andre led by example and not only did he show immense maturity and magnanimity by allowing younger brother Jordan to take the penalty, but he fought very well throughout and thoroughly deserved his goal when it came.

Mubarak Wakaso also stood tall and kept the Black Stars ticking with his passing. He was harshly booked and maybe that was why he was replaced, but he had another excellent game and scored Ghana's second goal as well.

Afriyie Acquah was at his battling best and in my opinion, has got to be one of the best midfielders at the tournament so far.

He worked very hard to intercept dangerous balls and he provided good passing as well. For someone initially regarded as cover for Rabiu Mohammed, Acquah has taken his chance superbly and he is a major reason why Ghana looks so hard to beat.

Jordan Ayew was starved of service and sometimes the lack of aggression showed, but he showed no nerves in converting the penalty at a very vital time. His confidence soared after that and he improved as the game wore on.

Kwesi Appiah had a tireless game; running in the channels, drawing fouls and contributing well to play. He was fouled for the penalty and set up Andre Ayew for his goal. In between he was a real pest for the Equato-Guinean defence.

Christian Atsu had a good game once again and whilst he may not have been on target this time around, he played a major role in two of the three goals. His pass saw Appiah being fouled for the penalty and he set up Wakaso for the second goal.

In defence, John Boye, handed another reprieve by Avram Grant, was rock solid alongside Jonathan Mensah. Perhaos my only criticism of both center backs is their inability to make themselves threats during corner kicks, but both men were excellent in protecting Razak Braimah, who was not tested at all.

Baba Rahman battled superbly, given that he had virtually no cover ahead of him when Andre Ayew moved inside, but he linked up very well with the team captain when the Black Stars were on the attack. I think he has matured immensely and he acquitted himself very well.

Harrison Afful worked well and his crossing improved as the match wore on. Defensively, he also did a good job.

Emmanuel Agyemang Badu came on to help keep Ghana's midfield solid, whilst Frank Acheampong contributed to the cause when he came on.

Overall, it was another efficient performance from the Black Stars, who would be expectant against Cote D'Ivoire on Sunday

My player ratings
Razak Braimah(6/10) – Harrison Afful(7/10), John Boye(7.5/10), Jonathan Mensah(7/10), Baba Rahman(7.5/10) – Christian Atsu(7/10), Afriyie Acquah(8/10), Mubarak Wakaso(7/10)/Emmanuel Agyemang Badu(5/10), Andre Ayew(8.5/10)/Frank Acheampong(4/10) – Kwesi Appiah(8/10), Jordan Ayew(6.5/10)

My man of the match: Kwesi Appiah

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