Ghana bounce back to edge Benin
05 August 2018 06:45
Ghana's Black Satellites came from a goal down to beat Benin 3-1 in the first leg of their U-20 AFCON qualifier played at the Cape Coast stadium on Saturday.
The game which was supposed to have been honored a few weeks ago, was delayed due to the current football issues in Ghana.
However, when the game got underway, nothing about the build up mattered anymore as both teams met each other boot for boot in the opening stages. The visitors, after enduring the first ten minutes of pressure from the Ghanaians, made a couple of attacks on their own and in most situation gave the Satellites defense some anxious moments.
They nearly fetched the opener in the 15th minute when striker Allagbanu Saliou's goal bound shot was deflected off captain Isshaku Konda for a corner kick.
In the the 28th minute a swift counter attack from defense to attack saw Saliou notch home the opener against the run of play to silence the few home fans that made their way to the stadium.
Five minutes later, Ghana's Enoch Attah Adjei beat the offside trap and with the goalkeeper at his mercy, failed to score. The shot hit the goalkeeper, Katchon Abiola in post for Benin. The rebound was also saved by the goalkeeper before eventually cleared by the defense.
Ghana continued to probe for the equalizer and mounted more pressure on the visitors who managed to weather the storm till the end of the first half.
Back from recess and Ghana coach Jimmy Cobblah made his first substitution replacing Agyei Boakye with Elvis Kyei Baffour. This substitution by far spring some life into the attack of the Ghanaian attack an action that saw them continue to press for the equalizer.
They eventually did get their goal in the 59th minute when a Richard Danso shot beat the agile Benin goalkeeper, Katchon who had a wonderful game.
Benin coach Valere Houandinou made his first change and it was a injury forced one as goal scorer, Saliou was replaced by Adamou Nassirou in the 60th minute.
His opposite followed with another change for the Black Satellites as Omar Bassit was replaced by Ibrahim Sulley in the 69th minute.
Ghana jumped into the lead for the first time in the game with their second goal in the 72nd minute through captain Isshaku Konda who drilled home from close range after a goal mouth melee.
The Ghanaians were not finished yet and Richard Danso who had been a thorn in the flesh of the Beninoise defence got his brace scoring the 3rd goal via a header in the 84th minute.
Jimmy Cobblah made his final substitution of the game throwing in Stephen Amankonah for Enoch Attah Adjei. However it failed to change the scoreline as the Satellites managed to hold on till the final whistle.
Jimmy Cobblah (Head Coach, Ghana)
This is the first time we are playing them and they pressured my boys in the first half and they got the goal. We went back to the dressing room and I told my boys to relax when they got forward and they did exactly that and managed to get the equalizer as well as the other two goal.
From what we have witnessed this afternoon, Benin is a very formidable side and we congratulate them for giving us a good game. Indeed they lost but they gave us some nervous moment, most of which we will go back to and work on in training ahead of the second leg.
I will say here now that the inactivity of football in the country at the moment was a factor to our poor start to the game, because most of the players are not playing any competitive games though they have been in camp for some time now.
We hope to give them an equally good game in the second leg in a few days time.
Valere Houandinou (Head Coach, Benin)
I will say that Ghana is a good team and they played well throughout the game especially in second half. My players have done well despite the scoreline and I believe that when we go back and correct our mistakes we can record a good win against Ghana in the second leg.
Isshaku Konda (Defender, Ghana)
It was a very tough game for us despite the scoreline, with the help of the coaches we won the game to make things a bit easier for us in the return leg.
We did not know their strength initially, but now we know what we are up against and the coaches will know what to do to us at training so that we can record a good result in Benin in the 2nd leg.
Like I keep saying in all my interviews, we cant afford to miss out on the competition again so have to do our best in Benin to get a good result that will see our progression to the next stage of the qualifiers.
Ibrahim Oguolola (Defender, Benin)
We are sad at the scoreline and believe we deserved a bit more. But we take consolation in the fact that it wasn't a flawless victory by the Ghanaian as we managed to get an away goal, one that we believe will help us in the second leg.
Ghana has a good team and they played well, so we are going back home to prepare very well for them.
Ghana bounce back to edge Benin
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