Ghana 1-1 Tunisia (4-5 on pens) Player Ratings: Kechrida the key

Tunisia have reached the Quarter-Finals of the African Cup of Nations thanks to a penalty shootout victory over Ghana, after a 1-1 draw in Ismailia. The Super Eagles have...

Tunisia have reached the Quarter-Finals of the African Cup of Nations thanks to a penalty shootout victory over Ghana, after a 1-1 draw in Ismailia.

The Super Eagles have failed to at least reach the Semi-Finals of this competition for the first time since 2008, while Tunisia face Madagascar in the next round and are 3/4 with Betway as of 9th July to win that match in 90 minutes.

Here’s our Player Ratings from a dramatic contest.

Ghana

Richard Ofori – made two good saves during the game and might be slightly unlucky not to have kept a clean sheet, even if he struggled to retain possession from his goal-kicks. However, he failed to truly convince in the shootout, letting in each penalty. 7

Andy Yiadom – the right-back was among Reading’s most consistent performers last term and he showed his dependability here, rarely giving the ball away – although there were times where he could have perhaps influenced the game more in the opposing half. 6

Nuhu Kasim Adams – the defender saw his header hit the outside of the post early on in a dominant start from the Black Stars. Booked at the end of normal time. 7

John Boye – the centre-back was treading on thin ice after his 11th-minute booking, but he remained strong in the air and made committed challenges where possible. Played a lot of long balls though without too much success. 7

Baba Rahman (off 116) – the left-back, contracted to Chelsea, flew into several challenges and interceptions in an all-action performance. Looks a real asset to Ghana. 8

Afriyie Acquah (off 75) – the defensive midfielder was at times reluctant to assert himself in the physical side of the game, but his discipline at least allowed Ghana to retain a certain structure which they perhaps missed after he was taken off on 75 minutes. 8

Mubarak Wakaso – shortly after Tunisia’s opener, the powerful midfielder hit a strong 30-yarder that needed to be tipped onto the woodwork; not long after, though, his

persistence was rewarded as his free-kick was turned home by an opposing player. Despite being booked on 87 minutes, Wakaso was perhaps Ghana’s best player. 8

Samuel Owusu (off 107) – the right winger completed several dribbles and found the target on one occasion, without making a truly meaningful impact on the game. Taken off on 107 minutes as his influence waned slightly. 6

Thomas Partey – gained control of the midfield early on and was involved in a move that would have resulted in the opener, were it not for his chest control been deemed by the referee as handball. Although Partey did not retain possession in the same way that other midfielders did, he asserted himself on the game by making a lot of passes in behind which unlocked Tunisia. 7

Andre Ayew (off 84) – thought he had scored the game’s first goal with a fancy backheel from his brother’s cross, but his effort was controversially disallowed. The 29-year-old was, however, guilty of being slightly wasteful in possession on one or two occasions. 5

Jordan Ayew – crossed for what could have been the opener, only to be denied by a dubious refereeing decision; although he will rue missing his big chance to win it in injury-time. Overall, he linked play well and held onto the ball high up the pitch. 7

Substitutes:

Asamoah Gyan (on 84) – the former Sunderland forward might only have been on the pitch for 36 minutes, but he got a lot of shots away in that time in a frenetic finale. 7

Owusu Kwabena (on 107) – held onto the ball and did the simple things well. 6

Caleb Ekuban (on 75) – a willing runner, the ex-Leeds forward endured heartbreak by seeing his crucial penalty saved in the shootout. 5

Lumor Agbenyenu (on 116) – was not afraid to assert himself on the game with a couple of strong challenges. 6

Tunisia

Mouez Hassen (off 120+1) – made as many as six saves in 121 minutes, but ironically found himself beaten by his own player. 7

Wajdi Kechrida – the right-back got forward well on occasions and his cross set up the opener late on; moved further forward when the more conservative Bedoui came on. He seems to offer Tunisia vital width, which becomes especially important when play gets congested. 8

Dylan Bronn – the centre-back looked more confident on the floor than in the air, making several tackles throughout the evening; although he had to be careful, having been booked very early on. 7

Yassine Meriah – Meriah took care of business: the centre-back was outstanding in the air throughout and was a dominant force in Tunisia’s penalty area. Dispatched his spot-kick, though not without a nervy split-second. 8

Oussama Haddadi – the left-back was somewhat old-school, making strong challenges but showing few frills in possession and rarely breaking beyond the halfway line. 6

Ghilane Chaalali – the midfielder won several aerial duels and kept possession well, making him a steadying presence in Tunisia’s midfield; showed quality when the moments came, too. 8

Ellyes Skhiri – the 24-year-old often played the safe pass; although he made few mistakes, he did not impose himself on the game to the extent that he perhaps could have done. Might not have helped that he went down injured and received medical treatment at one point. 5

Ferjani Sassi – produced a slightly more dynamic performance than his midfield competitors; he took showing a willingness to put tackles in and once even drive forward with the ball, scoring the winning penalty in the shootout to boot. 8

Badri – forward only managed to get one shot at goal throughout his time on the pitch, which shows he found it difficult at times to find shooting opportunities. Not his most memorable performance. 5

Taha Yassine Khenissi (off 90) – converted a cross to score the opener, not long after he hit the woodwork with a header. Among the games stand-out performers, Khenissi might feel aggrieved to have been taken off. 8

Youssef Msakni (off 82) – managed a couple of dribbles and the odd shot at goal but struggled to truly influence the game to the extent he might have hoped. Booked shortly after the interval. 5

Substitutes:

Farouk Ben Mustapha (on 120+1) – the goalkeeper did not touch the ball in open play, yet made a bigger impact than anyone in the game; he came on specifically for the shootout, crucially saving Caleb Ekuban’s penalty. 7

Rami Bedoui (on 90) – the defender had been brought on to help Tunisia settle on a one-goal lead in injury-time. That didn’t go as planned as Bedoui deflected the ball into his own net with his first touch. 4

Wahbi Khazri (on 68) – the former Sunderland technician had been an injury doubt, but his quality from set pieces is unquestionable and that was how he initially made his mark here, seeing his corner headed onto the bar by Kenissi. He then proved his quality in open play, backheeling smartly to Kechrida in the build-up to the opener. 7

Naim Sliti (on 82) – looks a clever footballer who likes to link play between the lines. 6

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Africa Cup Of NationsAfrican Cup 2019African FootballFeatured
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