Wafu Cup: Ashanti Gold’s Akaminko impresses The Gambia

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The midfielder caught the eye as Ghana won their tournament opener
James Akaminko was Ghana’s standout player in their Wafu Cup of Nations opening victory over The Gambia, according to Scorpions skipper Ebrima Sidibeh.

Joseph Esso scored the only goal of the game as the Black Stars into the quarter-finals of the cup competition, where they will play Burkina Faso in Thies on Friday.

“Ghana’s number eight Akaminko really impressed me,” Sidibeh told Goal. “He was so free at the beginning of the game, so he saw a lot of the ball.

“After that, we realised there was no one tracking him, so we had to change things immediately.

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“In the second half, we changed and we started dominating the game.”

For the Black Stars’ opener, the team was dominated by players from Ashanti Gold and Hearts of Oak, with Asante Kotoko players having played Etoile du Sahel in their Caf Champions League clash over the weekend.

However, it remains to be seen whether coach Maxwell Konadu will integrate many of the seven-strong Kotoko contingent into the starting XI.

Ghana and Burkina Faso have recent history, with the Stallions having eliminated the Black Stars from 2018 African Nations Championship qualification.

Burkina Faso also hold a one-goal advantage over Ghana in the ongoing qualification for the 2020 Chan, having defeated the Black Stars 1-0 in Kumasi thanks to Yannick Pougnongo’s 94th-minute winner.