By Ameenu Shardow
Ghana’s Mubarak Wakaso reigned supreme in the midfield battle against Seydou Keita in the 1-0 win over Mali on Thursday.
The Black Stars posted their first win of the campaign at the 2013 Nations Cup to get their title aspirations back on track.
As expected in the pre-match, the midfield will be a keenly contested area with experienced Seydou Keita a linchpin in the Malian team.
But Ghana youngster Mubarak Wakaso as also expressed in the pre-match set out to neutralize Keita’s prowess – a task he carried out with distinction as the ex Barcelona star failed to hit his stride on Thursday.
Wakaso had said before the game: “I know Keita. I played against him when he was in Spain with FC Barcelona.
“He is a good player but I am not afraid and not under any pressure to play against him.”
It was evidently clear after the game at the Nelson Mandela bBay Stadium that the Espanyol player emerged victor in the mini battle.
He took his penalty very well – leaving goalkeeper Mamadou Sammasa with absolutely no chance while remaining solid in his midfield position.
The 22-year-old however got booked for lifting his shirt in his goal celebration but all in all was mile ahead of the no.1 threat of Mali, Seydou Keita.