Savio Kabuga’s ninth minute headed goal was all it took to humble a very poor and unmotivated Black Stars in their AFCON 2015 qualifier against the Cranes of Uganda, in Kampala.
It was a litmus test for the team, who were playing without captain Asamoah Gyan for the first time in a long while. Those who were on the lookout for how this team would look without its captain and talismanic goal scorer; it’s not a pretty sight.
CAF stubbornly persists in having a Cup of Nations tournament next year; therefore the Stars were back in action knowing that a win would certainly secure a place for the team in Equatorial Guinea 2015.
But they choked on the big stage without their captain, turning in a putrid performance that led to a deserved defeat. This means Uganda have taken four out of a possible 6 points off the Black Stars in this qualifying series.
The game started with an abundance of caution from both sides. Ghana had an early corner kick which was wasted, leading to Uganda showing them how it’s done just a few minutes later.
A corner kick was dangerously swung in, finding the head of youngster Kabuga to beat Razak Brimah in post for Ghana.
As captain for the day Andre Ayew tried tirelessly to raise his team’s performance, but a dogged display still saw little end product from the Stars as Uganda successfully kept them at bay throughout the rest of the game.
They brilliantly executed their counter attacking approach, and were unlucky when a late penalty appeal was ignored by the referee. That would have been given in many other venues across the continent so long as it’s going to the home side.
Ghana huffed and puffed, but the capacity crowd at the Namboole Stadium in Kampale kept their team in high spirits as they negotiated this tricky tie against the Black Stars, picking up a priceless win.
It’s not a particularly fatal result; the Stars would still make it through with a win against Togo on Wednesday. But Mawell Konadu would be worried about his side as their performance was poor and help from substantive captain ‘Baby Jet’ would not be forthcoming in the game on Wednesday.