Ghana vs Zambia: Player ratings from the Baba Yara Sports Stadium
Ghanasoccernet.com runs the rule over the Ghana side following a nervy 2-1 victory over Zambia in the 2014 World Cup qualifier at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi on Friday.
Ghana dominated the first half, with Andre Ayew, Kwadwo Asamoah and Wakaso Mubarak perpetually harassing and tormenting the visitors defence and took a deserved lead through Abdul Majeed Waris before Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah doubled the advantage with a wonderful strike.
Nathan Sinkala finished off a well calculated free-kick for the Zambians in the 77th minute as Ghana went through to the final stages of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers.
Fatau Dauda – 7.5/10
Magnificent in keeping Ghana from conceding after he made a great stop from ferocious drive from Kalaba. The Orlando Pirates keeper appeared nervy in the first half and looked unsure in his stops.
He had no answer for Nathan Sinkala’s 77th minute consolation but he cannot be fully blamed as the defenders were caught ball watching.
Daniel Opare – 8/10
Rampaged forward as usual which, in the conducive weather. He constantly tested the physical prowess of the Zambian flankmen with his aggressive play.
Demonstrated more of his attacking qualities but some of his passes went wayward and should work on that.
Harrison Afful – 8/10
The experienced Esperance full-back was picked ahead of Kissi Boateng for the role and he was overly impressive on the evening.
He also showed the customary eagerness to attack as a modern full-back.
Was involved in the beautiful sequence of play that fetched Ghana’s first goal.
John Boye – 8/10
Was powerful in the air and made a couple of trademark blocks to prevent the Zambians from creating any real goal chance in the opening first department.
He cruised through the entire duration of the game as Zambia struggled to penetrate the Ghana backline.
Set up Abdul Majeed Waris for the opening goal after he resisted a challenge inside the Zambia box and weighing in a short cross for Waris to head home.
Jonathan Mensah – 8/10
Found life from start to finish and was always determined and resolute as he formed a crusting partnership with John Boye in the central defence.
Mainly drifted to the right-back when Opare joined the attack and he efficiently dealt with the Emmanuel Mayuka.
The Evian man won almost every challenge with Mayuka that completely shut-out the Zambian attacker.
Rabiu Mohammed – 7.5/10
Sitting successfully in front of the central defence and providing support and the link before the central defence and the rest of the field demands extra ability ability.
The Kuban Krasnodar man performed his work with distinctive excellence, blocking most of the Chipolopolos attack and occasionally bombing forward.
Replaced by Michael Essien in the 55th minute.
Kwadwo Asamoah – 9.5/10
What a first half he had. He covered more space, forced his way through the Zambian midfield at will and it was almost impossible to rob him off the ball.
In his best moments, the Zambians had more problems at their hands and conceded free kicks.
Scored Ghana’s second goal with a 25 yards drive which proved too strong for Mweene to stop. What a piledriver for Kwadwo! He is coming into his elements and if he continues like this many great moments are in stall for him.
Andre Ayew – 9/10
Great tenacity. Continuously in possession and always a threat to the opposition, perpetually harassing them in their area.
He was aggressively strong and difficult to rob off the ball.
With him on the pitch, the Zambians had little time to settle and draw plans to join their attack.
Promised a great show and his cameo was a delight to watch.
Wakaso Mubarak – 8/10
Workaholic and kept buzzing and hustling the Zambians with his extraordinary physique.
Technically gifted the player by Ghanaian standards.
Kennedy Nweene had to produce a world class stop to prevent his thunderous strike from a Waris pass from going in to double the scoring for Ghana.
Replaced by Christian Atsu.
Abdul Majeed Waris – 8.5/10
He was rapier swift and tried his luck with two strikes at goal. He clinched the opener for Ghana with a close range header.
The Spartak Moscow forward proved effective in his partnership with Asamoah Gyan and posed more treat to the Zambians.
His second consecutive Ghana goal at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. He has definitely nailed down a place in the Ghana squad.
Asamoah Gyan – 9/10
The captain was constantly policed by the visitors defence but Gyan was always determined and went into a lot of challenges with the Zambian defence.
He made Ghana’s first real attempt at goal as his header from a Daniel Opare cross flew just over the cross-bar.
Replaced by Agyemang-Badu in the course of the second half.
Michael Essien – 9/10 – Despite coming on in the second-half Essien could pass as one of the best Ghana performers on the afternoon. His mastery of the ball was beyond excellent. His touch of the ball was exquisite, his passes were precise and his presence was majestic. This is a big time player. No doubt! “Jose Mourinho were you watching?” the Ghanaian football fans asked and they were right.
Christian Atsu – 7/10 – His trickery was a worry for the Zambians and they tried to foul him with rough tackles. He will grow for Ghana
Agyemang-Badu – 7/10 – He brought some power to the midfield when he came on and help Essien stabilize the midfield.