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Lessons learnt from Uganda friendly — Otto Addo

Source The Ghana Report

Black Stars head coach, Otto Addo, has said that the team’s international friendly matches against Nigeria and Uganda served as a learning process for his players as he rebuilds the team ahead of upcoming FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June.

On Tuesday, March 26, Ghana drew 2-2 with the Cranes of Uganda in the second friendly match in Marrakech, with the Black Stars taking a seventh-minute lead through Jerome Opoku who finished off a corner kick by Jordan Ayew.

The Ugandans drew level in the 23rd minute when Asante Kotoko forward Steven Mukwala scored from a spot kick.

Ayew restored Ghana’s lead by converting a penalty kick in the 27th minute, but the Ugandans hit back to score the second goal in the 83rd minute and the Black Stars finished the game with 10 men following red cards to substitutes Mohammed Salisu and Alidu Seidu.

Also on Friday, March 22, Ghana lost 1-2 to Nigeria in the first friendly in Marrakech.

In a post-match interview, Coach Addo said he was not pleased with the outcome of the Uganda match as he had higher expectations of his team.

He admitted there was a lot of work ahead for the team before their next competitive game.

“It was a good learning curve today and there were some good parts, but we expected more even though a lot of players were missing. We could have done better.”

“We were a little bit unlucky with the two goals against us — with the penalty and the second one. We should have created more chances, especially in the final third.  We have to work on creating more chances, finishing must be better under pressure; it’s a lot of work, a lot of work,” the Ghanaian coach said.

He expressed worry over the number of goals the team conceded against Uganda and blamed it on defensive blunders but gave an assurance that he would fix the broken pieces in subsequent encounters.

“We conceded too many goals that is right and I think the defensive line as they played today’s game and the other games haven’t played together and you could see the communication among the players was not as good as we wanted to have.”

He maintained that the team must improve in their defensive positioning, as well as make the right decisions defensively.

“We have to improve in our defensive positioning, closing gaps, recognising situations and taking the right decisions defensively — counter-pressing, closing gaps, defending in the last third and passing lanes were not that good. But we have to work on it and do better next time.”

Ghana will play Mali and Central African Republic in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June.

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