There was a breath of fresh air surrounding the Legon Cities side as they trooped onto the pitch for the usual pre-game warm-up.
This time, Asamoah Gyan, their marquee signing was not on the touchline. The 35-year-old was fully clothed in the warm-up attire stretching alongside his teammates.
One could quickly spot Gyan from afar, not because of his distinctive punk hairstyle, but the striker kept offering support and advice to his colleagues.
Gyan, hadn’t played a game in eight months and as a result could only find himself on the bench.
It only took 31 minutes for interim head coach Wahid Mohammed to call upon Ghana’s all-time striker to warm up as Refael Ocloo was having a difficult time upfront.
The substitution was delayed as the teams went into the halftime break deadlocked. The scoreline was 0-0 but the game had been fairly eventful with Medeama hitting the bar twice and narrowly missing a free-kick from 25 yards.
For Legon Cities, the team lacked cohesion and their woes were compounded after David Cudjoe was subbed off after picking an ankle injury. The forward was later seen on crutches on the sidelines and could possibly face a long spell out.
After the break, Gyan was asked to warmup for a second time. The striker could barely keep his eye off the game as he kept dishing out instructions to his teammates on the pitch.
After the game, Gyan explained this was because he is “a passionate player who wants to help the team improve.”
The moment of history came on the 70th minute mark, when the fourth official’s board showed the number 3. Gyan came on for his second debut in the Ghana Premier League, 17 years after he made his first.
He came in at a time where his team Legon Cities were on the ascendancy creating a number of chances.
Baba Mahama came closest when his left foot effort was parried out by Medeama captain Eric Ofori Antwi.
Both sides cancelled each other in the latter stages of the game but Gyan’s most significant contribution was when he nutmegged Justice Blay and played a through ball which created a chance for his side.
The game sees Legon Cities pick up just two points from a possible nine but Gyan believes the team is a work in progress.
“If you watch Legon Cities, about 80% of the players are new. We are still getting to know each other and tactically we are working hard. We are now understanding what we have to do,” he said in the post-match conference.
Up next for the Royals are away games against Dreams FC and Asante Kotoko. The 35-year-old believes his side can still pick up points despite their poor form.
“If we go into these games with the same attitude and mentality, we will be able to get something positive. I believe in the boys and this is just the beginning.”
The camp of Legon Cities will be bolstered by the inclusion of Bashir Hayford as head coach.
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