Akonnor suffers defeat in first game as Black Stars coach

C.K Akunnor

Black Stars head coach, Charles Kwablan Akonnor started his journey in charge with a 3-0 loss against West African neighbours, Mali in an international friendly.

A very determined Malian side hit the ground running quickly as Hamari Traore shrugged off Gideon Mensah before smashing the ball beyond Lawrence Ati-Zigi on the 3rd-minute of the game.

It took 25 minutes for Ghana to have their first attempt at goal, when the lively Bernard Mensah picked out Jordan Ayew, but the Crystal Palace striker’s effort flew over the bar.

The Eagles of Mali dominated possession resulting in  Stade de Reims wonderkid El-Bilal Toure doubling Mali’s lead early in the second half following a fine cross from Mali’s right flank.

Akonnor will also rue his side’s misfortune with series of injuries.

In the course of the first half, Eugene Ansah was replaced by Kamaldeen Suleyman after the attacker sustained an injury.

Matters got worse for the four-time AFCON champions as Nicholas Opoku also sustained an injury and was replaced by Celta Vigo’s Joseph Aidoo.

The misery of the Black Stars extended as a tailored through-pass found Amadou Haidara who first saw his strike hit the post but his rebound found the back of the net to make it 3-0 for Mali.

The team will now face 2022 world cup host, Qatar in its second international on Monday October 12 in Antalya, Turkey.

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