The Black Meteors will hope to put their humiliating 5-1 loss to Morocco behind them as they take on Guinea in their final group game. As Ibrahim Tanko's men prepare for their do-or-die affair on Friday, these are a few things we learnt from their loss to the U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) hosts.
📹 HIGHLIGHTS: 🇲🇦 5-1 🇬🇭
— #TotalEnergiesAFCONU23 🏆 (@CAF_Online) June 28, 2023
Morocco are the Real Deal
It goes without saying, Morocco have been the hottest team in the U23 AFCON tournament so far, and they proved it with their clutch performance against the Black Meteors. Issame Charai's men became the first team to book a place in the knockout stages of this competition; and considering how well they've played so far, this tournament's hosts are currently the team to beat.
Ghana's Backline Needs Some Work
We have to address the issue of Ghana's leaky defense. The Black Meteors got off to a strong start in their opening match against Congo; as their defense held for 90 minutes. However, after a couple of substitutions, they allowed two goals in two minutes. Tuesday's fixture was even worse considering Ibrahim Tanko's men had already conceded three goals in the first 30 minutes. That said, conceding seven goals in two matches is never a good look for a team that's hunting for a title. If the Black Meteors want to be seen as legitimate contenders, something has to be done about their backline.
Scoring Early Should be a Priority
U23 AFCON: Black Meteors trainer Ibrahim Tanko aims for win against Guinea to progress https://t.co/CUoA5KH2u7
— Showbiz Ghana (@ghanashowbizhub) June 28, 2023
It's important to point out that Ghana failed to score in the first half of their opening match with Congo; the floodgates didn't open until the second half. Furthermore, the Black Meteors couldn't find the net within the first 40 minutes of their loss at the hands of Morocco; it wasn't until they conceded three times before scoring. It's always important to strike first and early. Perhaps if Ibrahim Tanko's boys opened the scoring on Tuesday, we would've had a different outcome altogether.
Ghana's Forwards Need to be More Efficient in Front of Goal
Although Ghana lost to Morocco by a four-goal margin, it may interest you to know that they registered more shots than their opponents. As a matter of fact, only six of Ghana's 15 shots were on target. On the other hand, the hosts registered 11 shots, with nine of those hitting the target. Moreover, in their opening match, the Black Meteors had a total of 10 shots, and only three were on target. We've established that the Black Meteors' defense needs to be worked on; it's also fair to point out that their strikers need to be more efficient in front of goal if they intend to play at the Summer Olympics in Paris next year.
There Needs to be a Game Plan For Morocco
Hosts Morocco became the first team to secure a spot in the semifinals of the TotalEnergies CAF U23 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023, after overpowering Ghana with a resounding 5-1 victory in a Group A match at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium.https://t.co/fLvKWNvqA8 pic.twitter.com/vIGq3S1Z0a
— Channel Africa (@channelafrica1) June 28, 2023
Given that Morocco already secured a semi-final spot with their victory over the Ghanaians on Tuesday, it's important to note that should Ghana make it through, they'll most likely face the hosts in the final. That said, Ibrahim Tanko will need a better game plan should they meet the Moroccans in the final of this competition.
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 months ago