Ghana 1-0 Nicaragua: Five talking points from Black Stars win

Ghana recovered from the humbling by Brazil to record a 1-0 victory over Nicaragua in Spain on Tuesday.

Abdul Fatawu Issahaku scored a cracker to seal the victory for the four-time AFCON winners as they continue preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Here are five talking points from the game.

A needed win but there are still concerns

Ghana showed dominance against Nicaragua for most of the game, snuffing out their attacks and keeping the ball for long periods.

But, it is Nicaragua, an opponent ranked below the first 130 of the FIFA ranking and one that had just lost to Suriname the previous week.

Some expected more goals and cannot be faulted for making such demands. This game was the perfect one for the team to score as many goals as possible.

Yet, goals were generally hard to come by with the forwards showing wastefulness in front of goal.

World Cup games will be won with the slightest of margins and Otto Addo’s men have to get the finishing spot on quickly.

Alidu Seidu solidifies his claim

Following the injury of Tariq Lamptey in training, many expected Otto Addo to fall back on Denis Odoi, who had a torrid time facing Vinicius on Friday.

Instead, he chose Clermont Foot defender Alidu Seidu to take up the right back position.

It’s fair to say that he impressed in the role. Despite Nicaragua channelling most of their attacks in his region, Seidu stood tall, easily dealing with those challenges whilst providing an extra option in attack on occasion.

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Otto Addo earlier stated that Seidu’s performance in the Kirin Cup earned another call-up. This one perhaps earns a place in Qatar.

Mohammed Salisu is the future at the back

Over the last two years, Alexander Djiku has impressed Ghanaians with his dedication and quality at the heart of the defence.

He is viewed by many as a nailed-on starter for the Black Stars at the World Cup two months on. When Otto Addo announced his injury on Thursday, some were worried.

But the arrival of Mohammed Salisu has allayed those worries. The 23-year-old showed glimpses of his immense quality in the second half against Brazil and did it again as a starter against Nicaragua.

He was calm on the ball, commanding at the back and an unbreakable shield for Ghana. Djiku would have some competition from Salisu.

Kudus comfortable in the number 10 role

Mohammed Kudus was given a deeper role against Brazil and although he put up a respectable performance, it was obvious that his talents are better suited further up the pitch.

Perhaps, Otto Addo noticed this and moved Kudus to the number 10 role, dropping captain Andre Ayew in the process.

The Ajax man looked comfortable in his more natural role, attacking the spaces and helping his teammates attack the goal as well.

With the World Cup drawing closer, the technical team of the Black Stars would have to make a potentially tough decision concerning Kudus’ role and who gets sacrificed.

Daniel-Kofi Kyereh may be the answer to the Partey question

In recent seasons, Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey has struggled with fitness, missing games at club level and country.

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Against Brazil, he was set to start but a knee issue forced him to pull out of the squad during warmup.

His presence is so important as he is press resistant and can easily break defensive lines with his passing.

Partey’s shoes are definitely huge to fill but Daniel-Kofi Kyereh may yet be the man to do the job.

The Freiburg midfielder does not have the kind of quality Partey has certainly. However, his performance against Nicaragua indicated that he can ease the pain of going to battle without the former Atletico Madrid man.

By Bill Eshun|3Sports|Ghana