Quarter-finals: France – Colombia – Belgium – Costa Rica
World Cup progress: Group stage
Team rating: 4
Top scorer: Gyan, Ayew (2)
Ghana battled to the last match day, but ultimately failed to advance out of the group. Off the field indiscretions ultimately blighted the Black Stars’ tournament, writes Aman Sehdev.
Spirit of 2010 eludes Ghana
Ghana showed in Brazil flashes of the quality that took them to the quarter-finals four years ago, especially in a spirited 2-2 draw with Germany. However, defensive lapses in defeats to USA and Portugal ultimately doomed the Black Stars to one point from three games.
Ill-discipline and rows over squad bonuses also dominated Ghana’s tournament. The subsequent expulsion from the team’s training camp of stars Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng for behavioural issues led to a forgettable campaign.
Luckily the emergence of a talented crop of youngsters, Christian Atsu, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu and Jordan Ayew point to a brighter future for the Black Stars.
The Coach – Akwasi Appiah
Appiah made the big call to sanction the sending home of Boateng andMuntari for discipline reasons on the eve of the crunch match with Portugal. Has overseen the building of a young team and should be given a chance to continue his good work post tournament.
Player of the Tournament – Asamoah Gyan
Most of Ghana’s positive play went through the captain. His two goals ensured he overtook legend Roger Milla as Africa’s highest scorer at the World Cup with six goals. Gyan’s influence will be vital for the young players coming through.
Asamoah Gyan’s goal against Portugal made history as the Ghanian captain became Africa’s top scorer in World Cup history, replacing the iconic Cameroon striker Roger Milla.
For a complete review of the 2014 World Cup, check out the next issue of Soccer Italia, written by the team at Football Italia and available on worldwide subscription.