The Black Stars of Ghana defeated Mauritania by 3:1 in an internationally friendly, last Tuesday at the Accra Sports Stadium.
It was two days after the team defeated Kenya by a lone goal to top their group in the qualifiers of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) to be played in Egypt.
The game against Mauritania, was one of the platforms given to new and fringe players, to justify their inclusion in the final African Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2019 selection.
Coach Kwesi Appiah made nine changes to the team that played the final AFCON qualifier against Kenya at the Accra sports stadium, with Lumor Agbenyenu and Thomas Partey, who captained in the absence of Dede Ayew and Asamoah Gyan maintaining their spot in the team.
Striker Kwesi Appiah opened the scores for Ghana in the third minute after converting from a spot kick in the first half of a game, that was below par performance from both teams.
With Amos Frimpong and Agbenyenu playing deep at both right back and left back, with Ernest Asante and Jeffrey Schlupp playing ahead of them respectively, there was not much of any serious attack and incursions on the flanks, as Thomas Partey and Alhassan Wakaso tried to protect the back four in a boring first half.
Coach Appiah made swift changes, just minutes into the second half, with new striker Caleb Ekuban coming on for Kwesi Appiah as Christian Atsu came on for Ernest Asante.
The changes were immediately felt with some delightful one-two passes in the midfield, that saw Thomas Partey’s effort at goal being thwarted by the Mauritanian goalkeeper.
The visitors pulled even with a superb free kick from Ba Adama to beat a helpless Lawrence Atizigi in post for Ghana.
The Black Stars probed further in search of a winner as Ekuban’s goal bound header was dealt with by Mauritania goalkeeper in the 59th minute to keep the game at 1:1.
With coach Appiah determined to give more time to observe other players, saw Schlupp giving way to Jordan Ayew, as the need to salvage a win was evident by the inclusion of some already known players in the team.
Caleb Ekuban’s effort was thwarted again in the 64th minute as he met a neatly pick up cross from Jordan to head in search of a second goal, but his effort was met with an equally superb save from the goalkeeper.
With the game heading for a draw, coach Appiah introduced Kotoko midfielder Kwame Bonsu to give more flow for the team and yielded the result as Agbenyenu sent in a teasing cross into the Mauritanian 16 yard box for Ekuban to head home Ghana’s second goal and his personal second goal since joining the team.
Lawrence Atizigi gave way to keeper Felix Annan in the 70th minute to the admiration of all fans, as they have been urging coach Kwesi Appiah to give him the needed attention to join the party to the AFCON tournament later in the year at Egypt.
Thomas Partey made it three for Ghana in the 71st minute as the introduction of Wakaso, Jordan Ayew, Christian Atsu and Kwame Bonsu made the difference from the first half performance.