AFCON 2019: Ghana suffers shock loss to Kenya …As Appiah hints return of Gyan, Ayew brothers

Ghana's Afriyie Acquah looks on as Kenya's Ismael Gonzalez lines up for a drive

Ghana’s Afriyie Acquah looks on as Kenya’s Ismael Gonzalez lines up for a drive

A TEN-MAN Kenya Harambee Stars on Saturday managed a 1-0 over the Black Stars of Ghana in Nairobi in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier.

The defeat sent shocks down the spine of the Ghanaians who were let down by their poor finishing after failing to convert any of the 13 decent chances created in the game.

Despite starting the game on a slower pace, the Stars were on the front foot until they conceded a Nicholas Opoku own goal with about five minutes to lower the curtain on the first half.

Coming on the back of their Group F defeat by Sierra Leone on day one, the Kenyan looked motivated from the start of the game and took advantage of some lousy play by the Ghanaian defenders, one of which led to the goal which came in an attempt to make a clearance.

Daniel Opare was caught out of position with a long ball to the area which saw a Kenyan winger deliver a cross to the Ghanaian area and was met by a hard-pressed Opoku who struck into his own net.

Ghana’s chase for an equaliser received a massive boost when Kenyan defender Joash Onyango was sent off shortly after the hour mark following a charge on Ghana striker Majeed Warris.

Coach Kwesi Appiah effected changes to boost his squad by bringing on Kwadwo Asamoah, Harrison Afful and Raphael Dwamena but the Kenyans massed up in defence to thwart all the efforts from the Ghanaians.

The Ghanaian coach Kwesi Appiah after the game lamented the team’s failure to score from the chances that came to them.

He admitted in a post match interview that the attackers were not clinical enough to beat a hungry and motivated Kenyan team that came all out to breathe life into their campaign, having lost the first game against Sierra Leone.

“We created several chances which could have earned us the points if we had been clinical. The Kenyans did well but we could have done better with the chances we had. We are lamenting because we failed to score from the chances we created,” he said.

Ghana next game will be against Sierra Leone in October by which time he hopes to get a fitter trio of Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew back.

Appiah hinted just before the game that the trio will be recalled for future matches of the Black Stars.

Appiah has explained why he left out three key players for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Kenya that the Black Stars surprisingly lost 1-0 on Saturday.

He had explained just before the match that leaving them and other members of the team out was to give some of the new faces the chance to justify themselves into the team.

“I have good players, who are capable of doing a good job. It is the time for other young players to show what they can do even for future matches,” Appiah said in Kenya.

He said when a player was left out of a squad for a game does not mean that the door is closed on him but was important to also give other players a similar chance.

BY ANDREW NORTEY

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