This quote seems like it’s from a talented young player who was seeking personal glory over team success and doesn’t understand how that blunder might come back to affect his country if they get knocked out the tournament on Thursday. Even against the U.S., he missed a goal from close range which would have equalized the match at 1-1 before halftime. If forward Abdul Majeed Waris didn’t pick up an injury in the friendly against South Korea a week before the World Cup, Ayew probably wouldn’t be playing but he has to take advantage of the opportunity and redeem himself against Portugal.
Fans and pundits are wondering how Ghana were able to play so well against Germany and poorly against USA. The answer is simple. The Black Stars defeated the Americans in 2006 and 2010 to knock them out the World Cup, and they came into the competition arrogant believing that playing them for a third time would be an automatic victory. They lacked focus and discipline by allowing Clint Dempsey to score a goal within 35 seconds of the game. And the John Brooks goal was able to happen because John Boye, the same defender who let Dempsey cut in to score, forgot to mark his man, and Brooks scored his legendary header with no pressure from the defenders. With their backs against the wall and manager Kwesi Appiah getting his tactics right against Germany by benching right-back Daniel Opare for Harrison Afful and playing in a 4-2-3-1 instead of the 4-3-3, it opened up the attack on the flanks and created more chances for his team to succeed.
Ghana’s best players throughout the tournament have been Juventus utility man Kwadwo Asamoah, who is doing an excellent job playing out of position as a left-back, and Marseille winger/midfielder Andre Ayew. Andre and his brother Jordan have heightened expectations from Ghanaian fans because their father is Abedi Pele — Ghana’s greatest player ever. Throughout the tournament, the older Ayew has been the heart and soul of the team with the way he commands his teammates’ attention when he barks out defensive orders, and reminds them to stay focused after they score goals so they don’t lose focus again like they did against the U.S. The 24-year-old has scored a goal in each match so far and has done well to remain active in the attack while not forgetting his defensive responsibilities. Midfielders Kevin-Prince Boateng and Michael Essien haven’t been able to contribute at high levels due to injury issues, and that has hurt the depth of the squad.