Goalkeeping worries for Ghana ahead of crucial Egypt tie
Somehow Ghana managed to draw the one team all Ghanaians didn’t want to meet; the Pharaohs of Egypt.
The Black Stars recently welcomed some exiled and temporarily retired players back into the squad for their victory against the Chippolopolo of Zambia but the presence of such players did little to paper over the cracks of the defensive aspects in coach Kwesi Appiah’s team.
Ghana’s number-one goalie Fatau Bauda recently made a transfer to South Africa, where he joined Orlando Pirates only to find himself perpetually benched because South Africas second-choice goalie; Senzo Meyiwa is currently in the form of his life at Pirates. Dauda is actually yet to make his debut at the Buccaneers and against Zambia he showed jitters every time he came out of his goal to claim or parry a cross. His performance on the day was that of a keeper who is very rusty and lacking match practice.
The former first-choice goalie, Adam Kwarasey who is the captain at Norwegian-side Stromgodset IF, lost his place in the build-up to the last AFCON to Dauda. The Norwegian-born goalie is currently injured (groin strain) and a date for his return has not yet been set. Kwarasey conceded two goals in the last match he started for Ghana against Turkey (he was withdrawn at half-time and Razak Brimah who plays club football for CD Guadalajara made his debut).
The third-choice goalie, Razak Brimah was having a brilliant game in goal during the recent friendly against Japan till the Blue Samurai’s turned on the style and he was left picking three-balls from his twine in the second half. He released Asamoah Gyan with a long throw from his own half for the striker to grab the equalizer against the Turks on his debut but he also made some schoolboy errors against Japan (a game where Ghana fielded a “B side”).
The lack of quality goal-keeping options has led to calls for the return of the veteran Richard “OLELE” Kingson, the former Wigan Athletic and Blackpool goalie recently secured a one-year deal with Cypriot club Doxa Katokopia. After 18 months out of football with problems both on and off the pitch, It could be argued that Richard Kingson lost his place in the squad due to his club-lessness as much as his age of 35years (unlike in Egypt, in Ghana a player is on borrowed time as soon as he hits 30). Kingson is currently playing active football and could be set for a swansong in Brazil.
Several goalies are on the fringes of the squad chiefly amongst them the World U-20 winning goalie Daniel Adjei who has very happy memories from Egypt where he became a world-champion with the Black Satellites. He was a player who received many call-ups without making many starts but the call-ups dried up when he made a move to PSL-side Free State Stars. He received a baptism of fire on his PSL debut and hasn’t yet locked down a starting slot.
Former Black Stars and Accra Hearts of Oak goalie, Sammy Adjei has indicated a willingness to play for the Stars even though he is clubless at the moment. Adjei grew frustrated with the Black Stars after being frozen-out on the bench due to the wonderful form of Richard Kingson.
There is also some un-tested goal-keeping talent in the Glo-Premier League; Foli Adade (Medeama SC) and Isaac Amoako (Kumasi Asante Kotoko) but both have no chance of being given a starting berth against Egypt due to their inexperience on the international stage.
The Black Stars really need an active, competent goalie and fast if they are to have a chance at making it to Brazil.
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