AFCON 2019: Player Ratings: How the Black Stars fared against Ethiopia

The Black Stars of Ghana on Sunday began their 2019 AFCON Qualification on a high note by brushing aside their Ethiopian counterpart – putting five goals past the Walias to top group F.

Two goals from debutant Raphael Dwamena and a goal each from Ebenezer Ofori, John Boye and Asamoah Gyan, who scored his 50th goal for Ghana.

It was a five-star performance from the boys as they dominated in all department of the game, a good start for Kwesi Appiah on his second stint with the senior national team and a morale booster for the new addition to the team.

Richard Ofori (6.5)

The Wa All Stars stop stopper was calm and comfortable in post and was not really threatened by the Walias strikers. He had his calculations right and was at the right place at the right time. Ofori, in most cases decided to build attack from the defence instead of ballooning the ball from his goal area. A plus in his game.

Harrison Afful (6.5)

The Columbus Crew defender had little to worry about since the Ethiopians failed to exploit his side to cause problems for the Black Stars. The experience of the 30-year-old came to bear with his ball distribution and coordination with the midfielders and the central defenders.

Lumor Agbenyenu (6.5)

Despite playing 18 matches for 1860 Munich all as starters, Lumor looked naïve and a little bit jittery on the day. He decided to go for the basics with no overelaborations but was comfortable whenever he had the ball. His covering was somehow slow but generally it was a good performance for someone having his first international game for the Black Stars.

John Boye (7.5)

John Boye has been one of the most criticized centre back for the Black Stars in recent times. Notwithstanding, he kept Shemeles Bekele in his pocket and thwarted the effort of danger man Saladin Said in the second half. His link up play with Amartey was very good. His tackles and covering was accurate and shows clearly he’s matured in his play. He capped his performance by scoring the second goal of the game.

Daniel Amartey (7)

Despite having limited play at Leicester City, Daniel Amartey’s make-shift defensive duties has never been in question for the Black Stars and the Sunday’s game was no exception. He did well with his ball distribution to the midfielders and the wingers as well as forming a solid a partnership with John Boye.

Thomas Teye Partey (6.5)

There are couple of times he created a huge space in front of the defenders by abandoning his role. He was dispossessed of the ball twice which caused a scare in a quick counter-attack by the Ethiopians but was excellently dealt with by the defenders. Teye Partey was quiet in major part of the game but once again had a good partnership with Ebenezer Ofori. Their first game together was Ghana’s game against Burkina Faso in the 3rd and 4th place in the just ended 2017 AFCON in Gabon.

Ebenezer Ofori (9)

The former New Edubiase midfielder wowed everybody in the stadium with his visionary passes at the right side of midfield, and wasn’t surprise when I saw the supporters applauding him with his excellent performance. And what got them off their feet was his 25-yard thunder strike to beat Abel Mamo on post. Ofori hardly lost possession and had his passes misplaced. His steel and ball recovery was much to be desired. ‘Another Essien is born’ was what the supporters kept saying.

Andrew Ayew (7)

The West Ham player operated from the right side of midfield, where he has mostly played when with the Black Stars – cutting in to support the strikers. It wasn’t the explosive performance we had all wanted to see from the maestro’s son as he’s done in previous games for the Black Stars but was calm in his approach, his link with Afful and Ebenezer kept the Walias chasing the ball all the time.

Thomas Agyepong (8.5)

Thomas Agyepong, one of the new boys, had an excellent game on his international debut for the Black Stars. Thomas a torn in the flesh of the Ethiopian defense. He was always quick to the ball and mesmerized Captain Moges Seyoum Tesfane on the left side. His surging runs opened up the Ethiopian defense several times in the game. However, he set-up Asamoah Gyan with a low cross on the 10th minute to score his 50th goal for the national team. He again showed how versatile he is when switched played severally with Andrew and Jordan in the first and second half.

Raphael Dwamena (7.5)

The tall lanky striker got two goals to his credit on his debut game for the Black Stars which a good omen and a sign good things to come. He was used as an arrow head with Asamoah Gyan playing behind him. Although he hardly threatened the defenders, he showed how dangerous he could be in goal bound situations. A real goal poacher.

Asamoah Gyan (8.5)

After spending 14 years with the senior national team, Asamoah Gyan, the most criticized Black Stars player, finally scored his 50th goal for Ghana since making his debut in 2003. Gyan was this time around seen more in the game due to the tactical change of Kwesi Appiah to play him behind Raphael Dwamena – something Jordan Ayew has been doing for some time now.

Majeed Waris (6)

The Lorient attacker missed a glorious opportunity to score his fifth goal for the Black Stars and sixth of the game after Thomas Agyepong had rounded his maker and send in a low a carpet cross. One thing we’ve known with Waris is his speed and the little he spent on the field shows a player who is hungry for success.

Afriyie Acquah (6.5)

Acquah came to solidify the midfield when Ebenezer was showing signs of fizzling out. He brought extra calm and did a very good cover up for the defenders – a time when Ethiopians were gradually gaining confidence in the game.

Jordan Ayew (6)

The Swansea hit-man rarely troubled the defenders as he was dealt with and dispossessed off the ball all the times he had tried to create an opening or carve his way through. He was shifted to the left side whiles Thomas Agyepong had to drop to the right side.


By: Ghana/ Amoah