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Cameroon 0-0 Ghana: Five things we learned

Ghana are without a win at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations following another stalemate in their second group match against Cameroon on Saturday. 

The highly anticipated clash between two former champions failed to produce any goals as Cameroon remained top of Group F. 

While Ghana need a win in their final group game against Guinea-Bissau to reach the round of 16. 

Here are five things we learned from the match

Midfield still not living up to its expectation 

These two group games have shown that Black Stars midfield is no longer at the level at where it once was. No X-factor in the midfield who can pull the strings for the team when things are not working. The Black Stars have played against Benin and Cameroon, and the Ghanaian midfield has not bossed their opponents in the two games, and that is a serious problem going into the final match of the group stages. 

Improvement in the defence

The only positive taken from this game was how the defensive line remained stable throughout the game.

A few mistakes were made in the first half, but they did a great job in the second half.

Clarence Seedorf’s side had Choupo-Moting, N’jie, Bahoken, and Bassogog on the pitch during the latter part of the match but they were shut down by a brilliant defensive performance.

Jonathan Mensah and Kasim Nuhu Adams looked like a more robust and brilliant centre-back pairing than Boye and Adams.

Abdul Baba Rahman also showed why he is still the best left back in the squad as he performed well and delivered a few dangerous crosses.

His good performance looks like he will remain in the last group game against Guinea-Bissau.

Kwesi Appiah has more work to do 

Ghana have been underwhelming in two games and have been very flat. It was understandable that against Benin, Black Stars had to settle for a stalemate, but that was not the case on Saturday.  The Indomitable Lions sat back, but there was no urgency from the Black Stars for most parts in the game.

There was no pattern in the style of play of Ghana as Kwesi Appiah’s men did not look threatening in any way.

The Black Stars looked more relaxed than the Cameroonians and continuously relied on the individual aspect than the collective effort of the team.

Kwesi Appiah should make his substitutions earlier if he expects to see a great impact from the players who come off the bench. 

Clarence Seedorf’s side kept the ball very well especially in the defence where only Jordan Ayew was the only one pressing, so the ball was spread across the back and eventually to their full-backs stretching the Black Stars.

Kwadwo Asamoah was not appropriately utilized as a wide midfielder. He would have been effective in the place of Wakaso. 

Uninspiring Thomas Teye Partey

The Atletico Madrid man has not been at his usual best for Ghana at this tournament.

Partey has been one coveted midfielder with big European teams looking to secure his signature for next season but he has not lived up to expectations in the last two games, especially against Cameroon. 

He lost possession in vital areas that almost put the team in trouble, and as the team's best midfielder currently, his presence did not benefit the Black Stars.

Everyone who sees his performances for his club can tell that he is not at his best and will need to impose himself in the last group game.

Attackers are low on confidence

Even though the Black Stars midfielders have poorly performed, there are worries about the misfiring attackers.

The wingers have been offering little or no contributions, especially when they come from the bench. This looks like a problem for the Kwesi Appiah and his boys who have scored two goals altogether in their two preparation games and the two group games.

This is disappointing for one of the countries tipped to go all the way in this tournament.

The Black Stars players that ended the game against Cameroon showed more hunger and played with more intensity in the dying minutes of the game that saw most of our best-attacking spells.

Jordan Ayew can perform to an extent but will need help instead of being the lone striker in this setup.