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Friendlies

Ghana see off Switzerland as Salisu and Semenyo register maiden goals ahead of World Cup

15:48 EAT 17/11/2022
Ghana vs Switzerland.
Ghana managed a 2-0 victory against Switzerland in their pre-2022 World Cup friendly match in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
  • Antoine Semenyo and Mohammed Salisu record first Black Stars' goals
  • Ghana wasted chances and should have scored more
  • This is Ghana’s second straight friendly win

WHAT HAPPENED? Salisu and Semenyo scored in the second half to ensure the West Africans head into the Qatar finals on a high note.

Ghana’s first chance came in the seventh minute, but debutant Afriyie Barnieh's shot was not precise enough and was stopped by Yann Sommer in Switzerland’s goal.

The Black Stars came close again to breaking the deadlock in the 11th minute, but after a good team build-up, Andre Ayew was stopped by an offside flag.

The Black Stars won a free-kick in the 20th minute when Barnieh was brought down. Jordan Ayew delivered the set piece, but it was cleared easily by the opponents.

Sommer was forced into making another save in the 23rd minute after a precise combination between Baba Rahman and Jordan Ayew. After receiving a fine pass from Rahman, Ayew failed to strike with power, and Sommer ended up collecting the ball with little pressure.

Inaki Williams came close to scoring his first goal for Ghana a minute after the half-hour mark. The Athletic Bilbao forward, after rising high to meet a corner delivered by Jordan Ayew, headed inches wide.

Another chance for the former African champions came in the 42nd minute, but Salisu sent his shot wide as another precise goalscoring opportunity for the Black Stars went to waste.

At the hour mark, coach Otto Addo made changes; Semenyo, Kofi Kyereh, Kamal Sowah, and Kamaldeen Sulemana came on to replace Elisha Owusu, Barnieh, Williams, and Jordan Ayew.

After wasting several good chances, especially in the first half, Ghana finally broke the deadlock in the 69th minute when Salisu headed past Sommer. This is the first goal the Southampton defender has scored for the Black Stars.

The African World Cup representatives scored the second in the 74th minute when Semenyo found the back of the net to register his first goal for his country.

Alidu Seidu would have scored the third, but Sommer was alert to thwart the danger and save Switzerland from an even bigger defeat.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Although Ghana could not convert the majority of their chances into goals, Addo should be happy with the attacking play and urgency shown by his team, especially in the second half.

After they lost 3-0 to Brazil in September, the Black Stars went on to beat Nicaragua 1-0 in a friendly.

The win against the European nation will bolster confidence as they shift focus to their upcoming Group H matches.

ALL EYES ON: After Richard Ofori and Joe Wollacott were ruled out, Addo’s plans in the goalkeeping department were hit by a massive setback.

With Lawrence Ati-Zigi registering a clean sheet, all eyes will be on the tactician to see whether he will keep faith in the FC St. Gallen goalkeeper or whether he will consider Ibrahim Danlad as a starter instead.

THE VERDICT: Barnieh, who plays for the Ghanaian Premier League side Hearts of Oaks, showed glimpses of brilliance.

He was a major threat against the Swiss before he was withdrawn in the second half.

WHAT NEXT FOR GHANA: The Black Stars will begin their World Cup group assignment with a match against Portugal on November 24.