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Ghana’s Stellar Show: Jordan Lights Up, Salisu & Kudus Assist, Paintsil Faces Messi – Performance Recap

Jordan Ayew was on target as Mohammed Salisu and Kudus served delicious assists with Joseph Paintsil crossing paths with Lionel Messi.

  • Ghana’s A-list footballers shone brightly over the weekend
  • Jordan Ayew and Osman Bukari both got on the scoresheet
  • Meanwhile, Bernard Mensah had a superb solo goal in Saudi

Ghana’s top footballers are rebounding strongly after a disappointing outing at the 2023 TotalEnergies Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

The Black Stars endured a lacklustre performance at the tournament, managing only two points out of a possible nine.

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Draws against Egypt and Mozambique, as well as a surprising loss to Cape Verde, capped off a dreadful showing.

Mohammed Salisu, Mohammed Kudus, Jordan Ayew, Ghana, Black Stars
Ghanaian players abroad

 

While the team collectively struggled, individual players from the 27-man squad have been shining at the club level since returning.

Sports Brief evaluates the weekend showings of these top stars.

How Ghana’s stars performed

Andre Ayew

Beginning with the team’s captain, André Dede Ayew, the former West Ham United and Olympique Marseille attacker has come under fire from Ghanaians for guiding the Black Stars to consecutive group-stage exits at the AFCON.

Despite calls for his retirement from international football, Ayew’s recent performances indicate otherwise. Since returning to club football, the 34-year-old has scored three goals.

However, in his most recent match, the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup winner witnessed his side, Le Havre, endure a 2-1 defeat against Reims. This marked André’s second consecutive start.

Richard Ofori

Now infamous among Black Stars fans for jeopardising their advancement to the round of 16 with his error in the dying moments against Mozambique, Ofori was still absent from the starting XI as South African side, Orlando Pirates, comfortably progressed to the next round of the Nedbank Cup with a 6-0 win against Crystal Lake.

Jordan Ayew

Continuing his impressive goal-scoring streak for Crystal Palace, the son of the legendary Abedi Ayew and brother of Andre Ayew, Jordan, welcomed new boss, Oliver Glasner, with a superlative performance against Burnley.

Following his brace in Ghana’s 2-2 draw with Mozambique, Jordan took four games to break his goal-scoring drought, scoring against Everton before sealing his man-of-the-match display against struggling Burnley with a sublime goal and an assist, per Ghanaweb.

Mohammed Kudus

The Ghanaian starboy was in action for West Ham as the Hammers romped past Brentford on Monday evening. Kudus bagged a sensational assist, serving a sumptuous cross into the box, which found the head of Jarrod Bowen.

Kudus was afforded rest late in the game as the Hammers returned to winning ways, arresting their eight-game winless streak in style.

Joseph Paintsil

Paintsil played a crucial role in earning one of Ghana’s two penalties against Mozambique. If Chris Hughton hadn’t inexplicably deemed the winger ‘fatigued,’ he might have created even more opportunities.

Fast forward to the present, and the former Tema Youth standout has transitioned to Major League Soccer (MLS), signing with the LA Galaxy.

He made his debut for the South California franchise in the early hours of Monday, featuring in his team’s 1-1 draw against Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami.

The 26-year-old emerged as one of the top-rated performers in the game, winning a penalty, missing a significant chance, and successfully completing three dribbles.

Mohammed Salisu

The towering defender delivered his inaugural assist for AS Monaco in their 3-2 triumph against RC Lens.

Salisu played the full duration of the game, showcasing another composed performance for the Municipal Club with six clearances, one interception, and two tackles.

While excelling in his defensive responsibilities, the former Southampton defender, a stalwart in defence, also played a crucial role in his team’s opening goal, providing a delightful pass to Folarin Balogun.

Bernard Mensah

A name that may have faded from the memory of many Ghanaian football fans due to his early retirement from international play, Mensah continues to shine in the Saudi Pro League.

Among elite players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane, he showcased his talent by scoring a remarkable solo goal.

Starting from his own half, he effortlessly maneuvered past defenders with his blazing speed and nimble footwork, unleashing a low drive to net what could be considered the goal of the week in the Saudi top flight.

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Despite his individual brilliance, his team, Al Taee, suffered a heavy 4-1 defeat against Al Ahli. This goal marked his 10th in 17 appearances, becoming only the second player in the club history to reach such a tally in a season, per SPL.

Osman Bukari

The swift winger found the net for Crvena Zvezda as they cruised past Cukaricki in the Serbian top flight.

Positioned on the right-hand side of Crvena’s attack, Osman played the entire match and rounded off his performance with a goal from the penalty spot, enhancing the scoreline in a 3-0 victory.

This marked Bukari’s first goal since November 25, 2023.

Ransford Koningsdorffer

The Ghanaian winger, born in Germany, scored his first goal of the season as Hamburg clinched a 1-0 victory against Elversberg in the Bundesliga 2.

Making his first start since returning from the AFCON, he justified the confidence placed in him by netting the solitary goal, ensuring Hamburg’s continued push for promotion to the top flight remains on track.

Ernest Nuamah

The former FC Nordsjaelland forward remains one of the standout performers in the French Ligue 1, showcasing another electrifying performance for Olympique Lyon as the former champions continue to climb away from the relegation zone.

Despite not directly assisting a goal against Metz, Nuamah featured for 69 minutes as Lyon secured a 2-1 victory on the road.

Daniel Amartey

The seasoned defender, who played a minimal role in Ghana’s disappointing AFCON campaign, made a cameo appearance over the weekend.

Amartey’s team, Besiktas, secured a 2-0 victory against Istanbulspor, with him being thrown into the mix after the 88th minute by former Portugal manager, Fernando Santos.

Alexander Djiku

Moving from one Ghanaian defender based in Turkey to another, Djiku, who was one of the few bright spots for the Black Stars at the AFCON, played the entire duration of Fenerbahce’s come-from-behind 2-1 win against Kasimpasa.

He received a yellow card during the match, but his solid performance at the back has been instrumental in keeping the Yellow and Blacks at the top of the Turkish Super Lig, just ahead of their closest rivals, Galatasaray.

Lawrence Ati-Zigi

The goalkeeper, who hails from Tamale, was among numerous members of Ghana’s squad who remained on the sidelines during the calamitous AFCON campaign.

Despite this, Ati-Zigi, serving as captain, demonstrated his prowess by keeping a clean sheet and making crucial saves to help St. Gallen secure a 1-0 victory against Stade Lausanne Ouchy. Sofascore rated his performance at 7.0.

Antoine Semenyo

Despite Semenyo’s impressive goal against Newcastle United, the Black Stars failed to capitalise on his form as his team, Bournemouth, suffered a 1-0 defeat against champions Manchester City.

Semenyo’s dynamic performance included one successful clearance and tackle, winning eight ground duels and five aerial duels, and completing two successful dribbles.

Alidu Seidu

Deployed in an unconventional role on the left side of defence, the diminutive defender effectively thwarted much of PSG’s attacking endeavours.

He played a pivotal role in containing threats from Kylian Mbappe, Ousmane Dembele, and Bradley Barcola, nearly clinching an unexpected victory for Stade Rennes until Goncalo Ramos converted a last-minute penalty.

This marked his fourth league appearance since his transfer in January.

Iddrisu Baba

The defensive midfielder is gradually regaining his form, playing the full match and aiding Almeria in securing a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid.

Despite his team only earning a point, they must acknowledge that Atleti had opportunities to secure all three. Nevertheless, the 28-year-old remained composed and fulfilled his duties diligently in midfield.

Richmond Lamptey

Lamptey, one of the locally-based players selected for the 27-man squad, showcased full commitment for Asante Kotoko in their narrow loss to Kpando Heart of Lions in the Ghana Premier League.

Despite his efforts, the Kotoko captain faced challenges orchestrating the midfield, leading to his team’s second consecutive defeat across all competitions following their 2-0 loss to Karela United in the FA Cup.

Source: Sports Brief.

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