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African All Stars

Haji Wright: Ghana and Liberia prospect fires Antalyaspor past Istanbul Basaksehir

21:11 GMT+3 14/03/2022
Haji Wright
The 23-year-old was the Scorpions’ hero with his first-half strike handing Nuri Sahin a vital away result

Antalyaspor secured a 1-0 away victory over Istanbul Basaksehir in Monday’s Turkish Super Lig outing with Haji Wright scoring the only goal.

Fuelled by their 2-2 away draw at Besiktas last time out, the Grey Owls welcomed Nurin Sahin's men to the Fatih Terim Stadium - needing a win to brighten their title aspirations.

However, the visiting side had other ideas as they picked up all points at stake in the keenly contested affair.

Despite the absence of Burundi international Youssouf Ndayishimiye and Egypt’s Trezeguet due to contrasting reasons, Basaksehir started the game on the front foot as they dominated the ball possession.

They went close to scoring before the 10th minute but Nacer Chadli’s strike was saved by goalkeeper Ruud Boffin.

Ten minutes later, the visitors took the lead through Wright following a mix-up in the hosts’ backline.

Collecting a pass from Dogukan Sinik, the Ghana and Liberia prospect tucked the ball past goalkeeper Volkan Babacan.

That goal was a reality check for Emre Belozoglu’s side, but they were unable to restore parity owing to their opponents’ solid defensive display. 

Basaksehir witnessed a lot of firepower from Basaksehir, yet they were wasteful in front of goal. Even with the introduction of Berkay Ozcan, Fredrik Gulbrandsen, and Besiktas loanee Salih Ucan, nothing changed as they crumbled before their home fans.

Victory for them could have seen them move to third in the Turkish elite division log. But with this loss, they occupy the fourth spot with 47 points from 29 outings.

Wright - who now has six league goals in the 2021-22 campaign - was subbed off for Naldo in the 75th minute, whereas, Senegal’s Alassane Ndao was replaced by Angola’s Fredy with 15 minutes left on the clock. 

Also, Algeria’s Houssam Ghacha was introduced for Dogukan Sinik in the closing stages of the low-scoring encounter. 

Born in California to a Ghanaian father and a Liberian mother, Wright has represented the United States at U15, U17, U18, U19 and U23 level. Even at that, he is eligible to play for the Black Stars and Lone Star at senior level.