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WC Qualification Africa

Tanko defends Attamah Laweh after Congo blunder

15:41 EAT 07/09/2017
Ghana team
The Black Stars assistant coach insists that the Turkish-based defender will have another opportunity to redeem himself

Ghana assistant coach Ibrahim Tanko has jumped to the defence of Joseph Attamah Laweh after his disappointing performance on his debut against Congo in the 2018 Fifa World Cup qualifiers in Kumasi on Friday.

The 23-year-old, who plays club football with İstanbul Basaksehir, was handed a starting role at right-back following an injury picked up by Harrison Afful at training.

However, the Turkish-based centre-back was robbed of the ball very early in the game leading to Bifouma Thievy's opener for Congo but Thomas Teye Partey salvaged a point for the Black Stars with a late effort.

"Harrison Afful was not 100 per cent fit ahead of the first leg. He could not train well so we decided to play Attamah Laweh in the right-back position although that was not his familiar position even at his club side," Tanko told Agyenkwa FM.

"He accepted the challenge but made a mistake which cost us but we cannot blame him solely because any player can make such a mistake. He is a good player and will not be sidelined in the future because of this mistake from him.

"He is a fine player and it is because of this reason that is why he was chosen ahead of several players. Our players had a terrible day in Kumasi and it was not only Attamah who didn't perform well."

He added: "However, I believe that if the referee had allowed our first goal which was surprisingly ruled as offside, things would've been different now. That is why we psyched the players up to achieve that big win away in Brazzaville to move up on the log."

Attamah is expected to play a crucial role in his club's campaign in the Uefa Europa League this season after they were paired with Ludogorets, Braga and Hoffenheim in Group C.