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How Amartey and Djiku impressed Dauda in Ghana's World Cup qualification

5:01 am AEST 6/4/22
Alexander Djiku Ghana
The duo has made an impression on 2014 World Cup star Fatau Dauda following their output against Nigeria

Former Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda has commended the performances of Black Stars centre-back pair Daniel Amartey and Alexander Djiku in the team’s 2022 World Cup play-offs against Nigeria.

Leicester City man Amartey and Strasbourg ace Djiku were in top form as the Black Stars kept the Super Eagles from scoring from open play to qualify for the global showpiece on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw on aggregate.

The first leg ended in a 0-0 draw in Kumasi’s Baba Yara Sports Stadium while the reverse fixture finished in a 1-1 draw in Nigeria. Ghana only conceded through a penalty after Ademola Lookman was fouled by Denis Odoi.

“My standout players in this World Cup playoffs - our two centre-backs Amartey and Djiku,” Dauda, who played for Ghana on their last World Cup appearance in 2014, told Angel TV.

“They really impressed me with their understanding and confidence.

“Marking out such good attackers and playing from the back even under extreme pressure.”

Having sealed the World Cup ticket, Ghana have been drawn against Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal, Luis Suarez’s Uruguay and Son Heung-Min’s South Korea for the November 21-December 18 tournament.

One player who may well come on board to bolster the Black Stars central defence in Qatar is Southampton centre-back Mohammed Salisu who has turned down multiple call-ups to the national team so far.

Ghana’s qualification has heightened talks about his possible decision to avail himself for national duty, considering the attraction of the World Cup.

Club head coach Ralph Hasenhuttl recently spoke about the possibilities after Ghana edged Nigeria.

“It is an interesting question, and we are always talking about it,” the manager told Hampshirelive.

“I don’t know whether it changes now, but I think it doesn’t help because the team made it to the World Cup and they deserve to play there, and he was not part of it.

“But what happens in the future, I don’t know, it is his decision.”

So far this season, Salisu has made 28 appearances for Southampton in the Premier League, starting in all but one of the games.