Le Roy hands Antwi his backing

15 years ago

Ghana coach, Claude Le Roy has sprung to the defence of Patrick Antwi as he absorbs the goalkeeper of any blame after his failed clearance helped Mexico back into last night’s friendly at the Craven Cottage.

Mexico beat Ghana 2-1 in the friendly fixture.

The Black Stars leading by a 55th minute Michael Essien goal were pegged back by the Mexicans when Antwi failed to clear Essien's back pass allowing Carlos Salcido to score the equaliser in the 77th minute before Pardo secured the match winner from a spot kick with four minutes left of play.

Le Roy has thrown his support behind the young Liberty Professionals goalkeeper who played his first senior game after coming on for Richard Kingson.

"We were on top when Michael scored the first goal, then there was the stupid mistake on our behalf that let Mexico into the game.

"It's difficult to criticise a young keeper. We must help him but it was a huge mistake. On this type of pitch it can happen.

"He could not taken any risk with the back pass from Michael," said the Ghana coach in a post match interview.

The Black Stars coach says Antwi would have to recover his confidence level.

"It's a problem of confidence - and it's so different for a goalkeeper. If a striker misses an opportunity to score, everybody forgets, but when a goalkeeper makes a mistake, it's terrible for him.

"He made a bad choice - on this kind of pitch it's best not to take a risk and try to control the ball. But it happens and now we have to try to help him to recover his confidence."

However, Le Roy was left unimpressed with the officiating standard in Wednesday’s international friendly. The Black Stars coach was incensed by the performance of the English referee, Rob Styles.

"I never talk about referees but it seemed that tonight he had something against us.

"He made a lot of big mistakes against us and I don't know why.

"We are a very clean and fair team yet he gave so many decisions against us.

"It was not the referee who scored the first goal for Mexico, I'm clear about that, but I'm disappointed about the standard of refereeing," Le Roy said.