Ghana’s gaffer, Otto Addo, is expected reshuffle his team as he leads the Black Stars into their second international friendly against Nicaragua at the Estadio Francisco Artes Carrasco in Lorca, Spain, tomorrow.
The Black Stars lost 0-3 to Brazil in their first game in Le Havre, France, which has provided some useful lessons for the 47-year-old coach who admitted he made some mistakes in his team selection.
He started the match with a familiar lineup as the Brazilians ran riot with three first half goals but in the second half the coach made some tactical adjustments in defence and brought on new players such as Inaki Williams, Tariq Lamptey and Mohammed Salisu who made their presence felt on their international debut. Ghana played an improved game in the second half.
On the evidence of the impact made by the debutants and the unimpressive show by some familiar players, Coach Addo is expected to make the changes and alter his tactics against Nicaragua in tomorrow’s clash.
Sadly, the absence of Thomas Partey who has now been flown to London following his injury while warming up for the Brazil game still remains a huge blow to Addo’s team as he needs to find a replacement for the Arsenal star.
Salisu, Williams and Lamptey could make the starting lineup tomorrow and provide the team with the needed power in attack as well as defensive stability, with the Southampton defender expected to play with the pair, Daniel Amartey and Alexander Djiku, in a three-man central defensive role which helped in keeping the rampaging Brazilians from scoring more goals in the second half last Friday.
Coach Addo admitted his selection mistake and admitted he would not repeat them in tomorrow’s encounter, which he indicated would hugely be influenced by the performance of each player in the previous game.
“I think I made a mistake, I learnt a lot more about my players and picking the next 11 will depend on the performance in the next game,” the coach said during the post-match interview.
Tomorrow’s game will be the first time Ghana will be playing against Nicaragua which is noted for fast paced football and have recently beaten teams like Bahamas, Trinidad and Tobago in the CONCACAF Nations League but lost to Suriname.
Nicknamed La Azul y Blanco (The Blue and White), the Central American side is ranked 139th by FIFA as against the Black Stars who are 60th and ready to make amends following their disappointing performance last Tuesday.
This game will mean a lot to the Ghanaian players who are eager to cement their place in the team for the World Cup in Qatar and also restore their pride after their thumping by Brazil.
Coach Addo could drop players such as Jordan Ayew, full-backs Danis Odoi and Baba Rahman, who were unimpressive last Friday, and start with Lamptey and Gideon Mensah in the full-back roles, as the technical handlers look at the players’ response in different roles and match situations.