Sports

Black Stars pressing frailties exposed despite comeback win against CAR

Otto Addo has acknowledged lapses in pressing as a key factor behind the Black Stars conceding three goals in their dramatic 4-3 win over the Central African Republic

Ghana head coach Otto Addo has acknowledged lapses in pressing as a key factor behind the Black Stars conceding three goals in their dramatic 4-3 win over the Central African Republic (CAR) in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier on Monday (10 June).

While the Black Stars impressed offensively at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi, Addo pinpointed a lack of defensive solidity, particularly after losing possession.

“Central African Republic have a very good team, very good on counters,” Addo said in his post-match press conference. “We didn’t protect our half well when we lost the ball and this is really something we have to improve on but it starts with the pressing upfront.”

Despite conceding two goals from swift CAR counters, Ghana displayed commendable resilience to overturn a 2-1 first-half deficit. A Jordan Ayew hattrick and a goal from Abdul Fatawu Issahaku secured a hard-fought victory.

“There were some duels which we should have won,” Addo admitted. “What we have to improve is when the ball is open, then we drop, so it means that there is no space behind us and when they play short, we can press. Actually, when I say this in theory, it’s simple but in practice, it’s about recognition of the situation, recognition of an open ball and then taking the right decision to drop, that’s all.”

The Black Stars head coach, however, remained optimistic, highlighting the team’s fighting spirit.

“For me, the positives stand over the negatives,” Addo concluded. “How we came back, how Jordan [Ayew] scored and this is one thing that I think we have to mention: the positive spirit despite being behind away in Mali and now here again to be mentally strong to come back.”

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