2022 World Cup qualifying: Partey picks three points over goal against Zimbabwe

Alexander Djiku, Jojo Wallocott, Thomas Partey GhanaBackpage

Ghana midfielder Thomas Partey is delighted to get on the score sheet in Saturday’s 2022 World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe but emphasises the most important thing was to win three points.

The Arsenal ace was found the back of the net as the Black Stars handed Zimbabwe a 3-1 away defeat in a Group C matchday three fixture in Cape Coast.

After Mohammed Kudus of Ajax gave the hosts a first-half lead, the visitors levelled the score shortly after the half-time break through Knowledge Musona’s penalty, but Partey and captain Andre Ayew netted to ensure victory for Milovan Rajevac’s side.

“I feel good [about scoring] and especially because we were able to win the game,” Partey said at the post-match press conference.

“The most important thing is to get the result after a hard day and we have to be happy.”

Partey was deployed in an unfamiliar midfield trio which also included Andre Ayew and Kudus, but that was definitely not the biggest call of coach Rajevac on the day.

In goal, the Serbian coach handed a starting spot to English fourth tier goalkeeper Jojo Wallocott who was not only making his debut but was also with the Black Stars for the first time ever.

Owing to an injury-induced absence of first-choice goalkeeper Eric Ofori Antwi, the Stars coach had to choose between Swindon Town shot-stopper Wallocott, St. Gallen goalkeeper Lawrence Ati-Zigi, Asante Kotoko man Danlad Ibrahim and Hearts of Oak ace Richard Attah.

Rajevac explained his ultimate choice at the press conference: “First of all, he [Wallocott] is a result of good scouting and since he arrived, he proved himself at the training sessions. He really did a great job and deserved his chance.

“Today he was at the top of his game. I am satisfied with his performance. I don’t want to praise the goalkeeper too much but he really did a good job.”

Partey and the Ghana side will hope to make it two wins in a row when they play as guests of Zimbabwe in the reverse fixture in Harare on Tuesday.