AFCON 2019 Qualifiers: Poor finishing costs Black Stars in loss to Kenya
A sorry tactical display and flat performance saw Ghana lose their AFCON 2019 qualifier against Kenya at the Moi International Stadium in Nairobi.
The game, which marked the much anticipated return of Inter Milan star Kwadwo Asamoah, was nothing to write home about, as the Black Stars were beaten 1-0.
The Harambee Stars of Kenya dominated large parts of the first half, mainly due to Ghana’s poor job of keeping possession, and went close as early as the fifth minute, only for a fine save from Richard Ofori to thwart their effort.
Kenya kept pushing and finally got their reward four minutes from the break when calamitous defending saw Nicholas Opoku divert a cross into his own net with Richard Ofori rooted.
The Black Stars were blunt in attack and struggled for creativity up front, with Christian Atsu’s poor decision making and Majeed Waris’ wayward runs to blame.
Ghana could easily have gone down by more goals in the first half but for the brilliance of Richard Ofori in post.
Head Coach Kwesi Appiah reacted straight from the restart, replacing Edwin Gyasi with Levante new boy Raphael Dwamena, but that did little to change the pattern of play.
On the 55th minute mark, Afriyie Acquah perhaps missed the chance of the qualifying rounds so far, when he misjudged a free header and ended up directing the ball away from goal instead of into an empty net.
Ghana were handed a huge advantage when Kenya’s Joash Onyango was handed a straight red card for bringing down Majeed Waris on the edge of the box, with the referee deeming him the last man.
This prompted a quick change from Kwesi Appiah who threw on Kwadwo Asamoah in place of Daniel Opare.
Ghana went close on a couple occasions to draw level through Dwamena and Thomas Partey but to no avail.
Kwesi Appiah’s men have now picked up 3 points from a possible 6 in the race to qualify for Cameroon 2019.