Kirin Cup: Ghana suffer 4-1 defeat to Japan


Ghana were defeated 4-1 by Japan in the Kirin Cup on Friday, with the Samurai Blue clearly superior and deserving of the win in front of their fans at Noevir Stadium in Kobe.

The result means Black Stars will not play in the final, which will be contested by Japan and Tunisia. Earlier in the day, Tunisia defeated Chile 2-0.

Ghana and Chile will compete for third place on the same day as the final Tuesday, June 14.

Japan’s intention to win the semi-final match was obvious from the start. They pressed high, controlled possession, and created the best chances.

It took them 29 minutes, however, to break the deadlock. Miki Yamane finished off a brilliant team move to give Japan a deserved lead.

Ghana were completely lost and desperate for the halftime whistle, but on 44 minutes, a poor play by Japan presented the Black Stars with an opportunity, which Jordan Ayew grabbed with both hands. The Crystal Palace striker levelled the game with a brilliant strike from the edge of the box. His first Ghana goal since March 2021.

Japan, however, reclaimed the lead two minutes later through Kaoru Mitoma, and the first half ended 2-1 in their favour.

Ghana abandoned its cautious approach earlier in the second half and caused Japan problems.

But Japan asserted their dominance once more, scoring twice through Takefusa Kubo and substitute Daizen Maeda to secure victory and a place in the final.

Otto Addo has now been in charge of the Black Stars for five games, including the World Cup playoff against Nigeria, and has won one, drawn three, and lost one.

He will be disappointed with Friday’s performance against a top opponent who will also be competing in the 2022 World Cup.

Addo will hope for a better performance against Chile, a team with a similar profile to World Cup opponents Uruguay, on Tuesday.



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