Uganda vs Ghana: Five Takeaways As Black Stars Remain Winless Under Otto Addo

Uganda vs Ghana: Five Takeaways As Black Stars Remain Winless Under Otto Addo

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at March 27, 2024 at 6:32 AM
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  • Ghana remain winless in 2024 after the recent March friendlies
  • Despite appointing a new head coach, the Black Stars are winless
  • Sports Brief lists five takeaways from the Nigeria and Uganda games

Otto Addo's return as head coach of Ghana has yet to yield a victory for the Black Stars, as they recorded a draw and a loss in their two friendlies during the March international break.

Addo, who left his position as a trainer scout for Borussia Dortmund to assume the role of Ghana manager, witnessed his team suffer a 2-1 defeat to rivals, Nigeria, in his first match back in charge.

Otto Addo, Ghana, Black Stars, Nigeria, Uganda, March, international friendlies.
Otto Addo's rein as head coach of Ghana has not gone according to plan, picking up a loss and a draw in his first two games. Photo credit: @GhanaBlackstars.
Source: Twitter

In their subsequent match on Tuesday, March 26, the 47-year-old guided his team to a 2-2 draw against Uganda, with the Cranes twice equalising to salvage a point.

In the two games under Addo's guidance, the Black Stars have conceded four goals while scoring three times, failing to secure a victory in either of the friendly games.

Here are five key takeaways from Addo's initial two games as manager of the four-time African champions, as observed by Sports Brief.

Ghana under coach Addo: 5 takeaways

1. A clear playing pattern

Addo's predecessor faced criticism for failing to establish a distinct playing style for Ghana.

However, unlike his predecessor, the former FC Nordsjaelland assistant has swiftly instilled an identity in the Black Stars.

Under his guidance, there is a noticeable emphasis on building play from the back, with defenders like Jerome Opoku and Alidu Seidu excelling in facilitating transitions.

2. Proper profiling of players

While Chris Hughton boasts significant coaching experience at the highest level of football management, his player selections often raised questions, particularly in midfield, where there seemed to be a lack of diversity in profiles.

However, under Otto's leadership, there has been a noticeable shift. The new coach appears to have recognised Ghana's shortcomings and made astute additions to address them.

For instance, the inclusion of Amankwah Forson and Abu Francis has been instrumental in bolstering Ghana's midfield. Both players possess the ability to carry the ball effectively, identify spaces, and execute precise passes.

The 47-year-old's commendation of Forson following the Nigeria match reflects this sentiment, as he praised the young midfielder's confidence on the ball, tactical awareness, and defensive work rate, per Myjoyonline.

3. Defensive frailties still evident

Ghana's Achilles' heel at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations was their vulnerability in defence, which ultimately contributed to Hughton's dismissal.

During the tournament in Ivory Coast, the Black Stars conceded an average of two goals per game, highlighting a glaring issue with maintaining a lead.

Despite taking charge after Hughton's departure, the team's defensive woes persist. In their first two matches under Addo, defensive lapses were evident.

Against Nigeria, Cyril Dessers capitalised on a penalty, and Ademola Lookman exploited defensive frailties to score. Similarly, in the match against Uganda, defensive lapses allowed Stephen Mukwala to convert a penalty and Muhammad Shaban to score an equaliser.

4. Striking dilemma rears its ugly head

Since Asamoah Gyan retired, Ghana has grappled with finding a suitable replacement for the prolific striker, who remains the nation's top scorer with 51 goals, according to Transfermarkt.

Despite several forwards vying for the role, none have been able to fill Gyan's shoes effectively for the Black Stars.

The responsibility has now fallen on Antoine Semenyo, but despite his success at AFC Bournemouth, the English-born striker has struggled to replicate his club form when representing Ghana, as seen in his failure to score in recent friendlies.

Another hopeful solution to Ghana's striking dilemma was Inaki Williams, although he was absent for the March matches.

Despite his success in La Liga with Athletic Bilbao, Williams has found it challenging to find the net for the Black Stars, with just one goal in 17 appearances.

5. Jordan Ayew is still important

Despite his consistent commitment to national team duties, Crystal Palace forward, Jordan Ayew, does not enjoy widespread popularity among fans.

Some sections of the Ghanaian fanbase have even gone as far as calling for the 32-year-old to retire from the Black Stars.

However, coaches who have managed the team in recent years have consistently included Ayew in the starting lineup, underscoring his significance to the squad. His importance is evident in his scoring record, having contributed four of Ghana's last five goals.

While he may not have universal fan support, Ayew's value as a player is undeniable, contradicting the perception of him as a liability held by some.

Jerome Opoku nets debut Ghana goal

Sports Brief also reported that Istanbul Basaksehir's Jerome Opoku scored his debut goal for the Ghana national team.

His goal put the Black Stars in the lead against Uganda but they failed to hold onto their lead, instead playing out a 2-2 draw.

Opoku, known for his commanding presence as a centre-back, was making his third appearance for the Ghanaian team.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.