Total U-20 AFCON : Senegal 2-0 Ghana,The Talking Points


The Black Satellites of Ghana have made qualification to the world cup a complex one by losing 2-0 to the Young Teranga lions in the ongoing Total U-20 AFCON in Niger.

After an unimpressive 2-0 win over Burkina Faso in the first group game,a win against Senegal would have secured qualification to the semi finals of the competition  as well as an automatic berth to the world cup in Poland.

But Wednesday’s defeat to Senegal means the Black Satellites would have to avoid defeat to Mali in the last group game to have a chance of qualifying to the semi finals of the tournament.

Here are a few things writer Samuel Zigah picked out after observing the tie.

Disorganized Back Four

A blend of complacency and shambolic defending cost the team against the Senegalese, conceding two goals in the first half and to add insult to injury allowing the opponents to score on the 45th minute is a testament to the team’s poor defensive shape.

Ishaku Konda , the skipper of the team, couldn’t seem to organise the back line well.From his position as the Centre back, he should be the one commanding and guiding his colleagues at the back.Being the most experienced player in that squad, he seem to be having zero confidence anytime he is with or without the ball.A situation , which calls for a lot of attention by the technical team.

The right and left full backs don’t look like they have the energy and skill required to thrive in that position.They enjoy to attack the opponents than defending which is their primary duty as full backs.The Centre backs have also been woeful with the cover ups.

Anytime there is an attempt to go forward that is when the entire team have been exposed especially when it comes to covering up the spaces left by the full backs.The midfielders have also done less in covering up for the full backs.

Now that it has gotten to that point where the destiny of the team lies in their own hands , the entire squad  need have to pick themselves up and put up a resolute performance against the Malians who have proven to be one of our boogie sides as far as the Junior tournaments is concerned.

The Malians ,who have similar style as the Senegalese ,would want to impose themselves more on the Black Satellites,cause a lot of trouble for the shaky defense who seem to lack character and identity on the last two games played so far.

Lack of Identity and character

Talking about character and identity,does the team have an identity at all? This is one of the problems right from the word go a lot of pundits have complained about.No particular trend or pattern could be drawn from what the players unleash on the turf.This is one thing the technical team should try and work on ,until then, going forward a lot of teams will fancy playing against this team, looking to explore these weak points of the team.

One striker approach

These days you will  need pacy wingers and creative midfielders to succeed with one striker up front.Daniel Lomotey is one player who thrives on supplies, so leaving him as the only man to go into the tackles and making the runs without support would not play into Ghana’s favour. The technical team will have to feature an auxiliary striker or a fast and smart attacking midfielder who can aid the WAFA SC striker up front.Despite scoring a brace in the first game against Burkina Faso, Lomotey has not seen more of the action on the field which means he would always be missing in action where it matters most just like we saw against Senegal on Wednesday.

Emmanuel Toku has proven to be a very fast and good dribbler and could as well create a lot of chances.Maybe a chance to play behind Lomotey and drifting Sadiq Ibrahim wide to use his pace on one-versus-one situations could be of help to the team.

Knowing what a world cup berth means to Ghana and his career as a manager, Jimmy Cobblah would have to take out his tools on Saturday to ensure the Black Satellites avoid defeat to the Malians.



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