Ghana loses to Japan in opening match of Kirin Cup tournament

2 weeks ago

The Black Stars lost 4-1 in the opening match of the Kirin Cup Soccer Tournament at the Noevir stadium in Kobe on Friday.

The team played without most key players as Coach Otto Addo named two substitutes in the starting line-up. Clermont Foot defender Alidu Seidu and Hearts of Oak defender Dennis Korsah – were given the nod in a three back system that also had Edmund Addo partnering Daniel Amartey.

Mubarak Wakaso started for the first time in seven months, played alongside Mohammed Kudus while Christopher Antwi Agyei, Captain Andre Ayew and Jordan Ayew played in the front three.

Yamane Miki struck first for Japan in the 28th minute after Ghana failed to deal with a piercing pass from Endo Wataru. The Black Stars then took over possession for a brief spell with combination play from Mubarak Wakaso and Andy Yiadom but Captain Andre Ayew who got on the hand of the final ball could not level things matters for Ghana as his volley went wide inside 35 minutes.

Jordan Ayew scored an absolute beauty to bring Ghana level as he fired home a delicious pass from Christopher Antwi-Agyei one minute before the halftime whistle. However, the equalizer was short lived as Japan scored in the 47th minute restore their advantage.

Lawrence Ati-Zigi misjudged Kaoru Mitoma’s cross – as it zoomed straight into the back of the net after evading everyone in the penalty area.

Back from recess – Ghana put up a brave fight with some delightful combination play in search of the equalizer but Japan stayed calm at the back to keep Ghana’s attack at bay.

Otto Addo introduced Felix Afena Gyan and Abdul Fatawu Issahaku for Mohammed Kudus and Dennis Korsah but the duo didn’t make much impact before the third.

Takefusa Kubo got on the end of a cross from the right side to extend the lead for Japan in the 73rd minute before Daizen Maeda cemented victory in the 82nd minute.

Jordan Ayew was later replaced by Benjamin Tetteh in the closing strages of the game but didn’t change much as Japan coasted to a 4-1 victory.

The Samurai Blue will face Tunisia in the Cup final as Ghana play Chile in the third-place playoff after the South Americans were beaten 2-0 by Tunisia in the day’s first match.

Both matches will take place on Tuesday, June 14, 2022.