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Monday, 12 October 2020 21:40

Ghana 5-1 Qatar: 5 Things we learned as Partey masterclass ensures Black Stars pummels Asian champions Featured

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There was absolute joy and jollity in the camp of the Black Stars when proceedings came to a close. The players were seen exchanging niceties with their teammates and the technical team. Can you fault them? Certainly not! They were at the receiving end some days before during the dismal performance against Mali.


It was a different story on Monday evening though. The Black Stars were the best on the day and crowned it with a massive victory. 

Skipper Andre Andre Ayew bagged a brace, with a goal each from Samuel Owusu, Tariqe Fosu and Caleb Ekuban.

Below are five things we learned from the game.
C.K. Akonnor’s style is slowly taking shape

Completely altering the approach a national side employs takes a lot of time. It's not like club football where you can work with the players every day to hammer home your ideas, as the international breaks are few and far between, let alone short.
Keen to reimagine the outlook of the Ghana team, a substantial handful of patience is required.
Two matches into Akonnor’s reign, the side have won one and lost one - but the signs are there that the players are gradually coming to terms with his philosophy and tactics.
While one can't avoid the lack of quality throughout the team, embedding the philosophy into the players will at least put them on the right track. 
Players such as Gideon Mensah and Benson Annan were clearly onboard with the progressive, back-to-front style and look well-placed to improve gradually with this brand of football. 
Some of the old habits still remain - diagonal crosses for Jordan Ayew to run on to too often - but as steady as the progress is, it remains progress nonetheless.
Tariqe Fosu takes his chance with both hands
There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a frustrating start to life with the Black Stars for Tariqe Fosu, but he was handed his second start by Akonnor on Monday evening. 
He was absolutely relentless, marauding into advanced positions at every opportunity and used his searing pace and direct running to make a difference high up the pitch.
He effectively combined forward raids with sound defending and was strong in his tackles and a shrewd interceptor of the ball. He crowned a successful evening with a goal to put Ghana in the lead.
It is all about taking your chances at this level of football, and it proved to be a terrific evening for Fosu who was only making his second appearance for the Black Stars.
Black Stars manage game brilliantly at 1-0 up
The Black Stars may have had a minor goalkeeping error to thank for their first goal- although Fosu deserves credit for a delightful finish- but they could not have managed the game any better at 1-0 up.  
C.K Akonnor’s charges formed a solid defensive shape out of possession while ensuring they retained a counter- attacking threat to give their opponents something to think about going the other way.
As Felix Sanchez Bas’ men went more and more gung-ho as the minutes ticked away, the Black Stars began to mount increasingly dangerous breaks. Akonnor will be delighted with how professionally his team controlled proceedings throughout the game.
Thomas Partey embodies Black Stars’ strength in depth
He may not have had too much looks in the game against Mali on Friday but Thomas Partey provided a remainder that he is real weapon in Akonnor’s armoury. 
An energetic presence throughout, the new Arsenal midfielder shielded the ball with aplomb and showcased the desire to carry the ball forward when he did win it back.
His agility and passing range caught the eyes on the break and allowed Andre Ayew and Samuel Owusu to work their way into one-on-one situations with Qatar’s goalkeeper, finding the back of the net in those occasions.
It’s that depth that will give Ghana the best chance of beating Sudan next month.
Samuel Owusu gives Black Stars a new lease of life
The Black Stars have regularly been undermined by a lack of pace and goalscoring prowess in the final third. All too often, the lads’ little- to-no-threat when it really mattered. 
Not now, for with Samuel Owusu, Akonnor’s side finally have at least one player capable of changing the dynamics of the game as evidenced against Qatar.
His example in pressing intelligently from the front encouraged others to follow suit. 
His performance gave many Ghanaian football lovers a tantalising glimpse of what they missed against Mali. He scored a goal and recorded a brace of assists.
If he continues in this vein, few will question the decision to keep him in the new Black Stars setup.
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