Captain Asamoah Gyan came off the substitute bench to rescue a draw for the Black Stars with a sensational second-half brace at the Black Stars rallied from two goals down to draw 2-2 at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stad? in ?stanbul on Wednesday night.
James Kwesi Appiah’s men fell 2-0 behind just before the half-hour mark with Galatasaray forward Burak Y?lmaz drawing first blood for the host in the 7th minute before his club team-mate Umut Bulut topped up with an intelligent finish.
But Gyan grabbed his 36th and 37th international goals to stun the home support.
Ghanasoccernet.com runs the rule over the performance of the STARS and rates how they fared on the night in Southeastern Europe.
Adam Kwarasey – 6.5
The 25-year-old picked two balls from his net on his return as some dodgy defending in the first-half led to the two goals which he cannot be blamed for. Umut Bulut’s second goal for the Turks was no fault of his as Rashid and Jonathan Mensah played it soft on the 30-year-old, allowing him to flick a neat header through. A Samuel Inkoom blunder in the 31st minute nearly gifted Turkey the third goal but the Stromsgodset captain saved the piledriver to deny Hamit Altintop who was unmarked. Kwarasey would have been much better if defending was like what it was in the second-half.
Samuel Inkoom – 6.5
The right-back’s surging run in the first-half was impressive. He looked to have regained his form despite not playing much at club level with Dnipro. However is only undoing was the entire poor organisation of the backline which underlined Ghana’s vulnerability in the first department. He horribly gave away a pass which needed a Kwarasey intervention to prevent Ghana from falling 3-0 behind in the first half. However, he was workaholic going forward and gave a good account of himself. He must leave Dnipro and get regular playing time to ensure future matches.
Harrison Afful – 6
Was an outstanding performer a except his inability to close down Hamit Altintop at his territory as the former Real Madrid laid a cross which was expertly connected home. To be honest he struggled to contain the experienced player but should surely be a good lesson for him in man-marking tricky dribblers.
Rashid Sumaila – 6
Not one of the cherishable partnership between him and Jonathan Mensah. The two were playing for the first time and their understanding was a big suspect especially in the first half. Both men allowed Umut to pick their pockets and claim a moral boosting goal ahead of the new Turkish season. But Rashid improved tremendously in the second-half as the partnership improved with much communication and understanding. Many more matches at club level will surely improve him and help his cause.
Jonathan Mensah – 6.5
Though he struggled to partner with Rashid, his experience helped him to handle the Turks attack as the tie wore on and he established a firm control. Improved tremendously in the second-half as the partnership improved with much communication and understanding. Many more matches at club level will surely improve him and help his cause especially as he has started playing for Evian.
Rabiu Mohammed – 6.5
The 23-year-old Evian boy lasted 60 minutes on the pitch but made a significant contribution to the resurgence in the second half with his vital interceptions and incredible vision. He was good but the arrival of youngster Chibsah brought a new dimension. Rabiu has a fight on his hands and he must excel.
Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu – 6.6
The Udinese man took the armband with Gyan benched but his impact in the first-half was limited but was it the normal industrious Badu in full swing. Lack of activity and regular starting place at club level had a toll on him. His pace and power was fine and will need to continue to fight hard because of the growing competition in the midfield of the Black Stars.
Wakaso Mubarak – 7.2
The Turks failed to handle his powerful personality on the flanks as he raided constantly at ease. His powerful two shots were typical of the Wakaso we know and if he maintains this level of play Zambia are in trouble in Kumasi. The main flaw in his game on the night was his inability to link up well with the rest of the midfield.
Solomon Asante – 7.0
Came close to pulling a goal back for Ghana in the 37th minute but his effort from an Agyemang-Badu cross came off a defender. He was slippery and useful on the flanks and won two key fouls for Ghana which were both wasted. He needs to work the ability to be useful to the team when he does not have the ball. He must work hard in fighting for the balls and helping out in midfield.
Christian Atsu – 5.5
Not a performance you would normally expect from Atsu but the 21-year-old looked a bit different. He struggled to take on the opposition and create spaces as he usually noted for. Lack of pre-season playing time affected his sharpness. He must leave Porto quick otherwise they will kill his talent.
Dominic Adiyiah – 6
Adiyiah’s stature would not permit him to be a successful lone ranger but that was the role assigned him by Kwesi Appiah. Asante and Atsu were supposed to feed him with the balls but he had little service and had to dig deep in midfield at times to find his own chance.
*Asamoah Gyan – 9 (MVP)
He shut down the vociferous home crowd with his stunning brace coming off the bench to replace Christian Atsu. he was a handful for the Turks and his presence really shook their defence. The genius’ first goal was tell timed to fool the keeper and the second goal was spot on with his dodgy header. He is Ghana’s key player undoubtedly. His heroics wins him the Ghanasoccernet.com PLAYER of the game Award.
Daniel Opare – 7 He justified how regular club activity can improve a player. The Standard Liege full-back just 36 minutes to tell Kwesi Appiah why he deserves place in his team and he did just that. Asamoah Gyan’s second goal was a product of his architectural works as his pull-out found the Al Ain man.
Razak Braimah – 7 – One of the reasons why coach Kwesi Appiah has been hailed for creating real competition in the team. His command in the goal area was superb and he looked more like a basketball player with the way he grabbed the ball and scared opponents. His throwing ability in the best is by far the best among the current four Ghana keepers.
Kwadwo Asamoah - 8 Despite coming on late in the game this match could easily pass off as his best for Ghana since the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations. Despite carrying a knock Asamoah played a real playmaker’s game by disrupting the Turks in midfield and dribbling with ease. If he replicates this performance against Zambia, the Chipolopolo will be slaughtered in Kumasi.
Mahatma Otoo – 5 Not much was seen of the former Hearts of Oak man since he came on but his speed eagerness to work with Gyan created opportunities. He needs more playing time with the Black Stars.
Raman Chibsah – 7 Despite playing his first game for Ghana the Parma youngster exerted himself with his ball winning abilities and dexterity if Rabiu has been hailed for playing so well for Ghana then he must gird his loins for competition. Chibsah is officially one of the reasons why Essien will NEVER be missed. Real talent!