Ghana forward, Jordan Ayew has blamed his team’s shocking 2-1 defeat against Cape Verde at the Felix Houphouet-Boigny Stadium on Sunday night to the inexperience of his teammates.
The Black Stars of Ghana conceded a late goal in added time to begin their quest for a 5th continental crown with a loss against the lowly-rated Cape Verde side.
Speaking to reporters shortly after the game, the 32-year old Crystal Palace player who made his international bow in 2010 and is marking his 6th appearance at the Afcon said almost half of his colleagues lack experience and that contributed to the team’s poor showing on Sunday night.
“This type of situation, we lack a lot of experience. At the end of the day, if you look at the squad we have, more than 10 players are playing in their first Afcon. This type of mistakes will happen and we need to learn quick, because the Afcon is not waiting for anyone. It’s not easy, it’s hard, but we’re men and we need to stand up and face the reality”.
Four-time champions, Ghana, fell behind in the early stages of the game through Jamiro Monteiro’s 17th minute goal after Goal Keeper Richard Ofori parried Jovane’s initial effort into his path.
The Black Stars pulled level 11 minutes after the restart when Alexander Djiku turned in Jordan Ayew’s corner kick. But there was late drama as the minnows claimed the biggest victory in their history with Garry Rodriguez slotting the ball into an unguarded post from close range in stoppage time.
Clearly not satisfied with the outcome, Ghana fullback, Dennis Odoi analysed the outcome from a tactical standpoint after the game:
“In the first half, we were too off it, the lines were too far apart. They could always find the guy in-between the lines. (Going forward) we need to be more aggressive as a group, as a whole, then we can play further away from our goal, but not giving so much space between the lines”.
However, for goalkeeper Richard Ofori, he feels his defenders let him down by not helping him clear his lines properly:
“The ball was bouncing in front of me, and the ball was going far away from me, so i needed to stretch and direct the ball to the side, unfortunately, my players were not there to block, so (he scored)…
I made a save, it must tell you that they’re coming, so we need to stay focused. You shout, you talk, but sometimes, players can’t defend some certain balls and you end up losing the game”
Sunday’s result means that Ghana find themselves bottom of Group B with Cape Verde leading the charge, while Mozambique who shared the spoils with Egypt in a 2-2 draw also on Sunday occupy the 2nd and 3rd spots respectively.
Hostilities will resume in Group B on Thursday 18th January with Egypt taking on Ghana while Cape Verde will do battle with Mozambique a day after.