2022 World Cup stars Danlad, Barnieh, Ngom shining at CHAN
The Ghanaian duo of Ibrahim Danlad and Afriyie Barnieh, together with Cameroon's Jerome Ngom Mbekeli have inspired their nations at the ongoing Total Energies African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria.
On the back of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the aforementioned players were highlighted as marquee players for Ghana and Cameroon. They are living up to the billing.
Ngom's Cameroon was placed in a three-team Group E alongside Congo and Niger but the Indomitable Lions were unable to progress from the tricky group.
Despite the exit of his country following the conclusion of the group stage on Tuesday, 24 January, 2023, the 24-year-old put up a display in the tournament that is praiseworthy.
He won the Total Energies Man of the Match award for his performance in their 1-0 win against Congo. Ngom's all-round play was unmatched: swapping wings, helping out the defence and leading almost every attack.
It was not an entirely smooth ride for the Black Galaxies and their 2022 World Cup aces Afriyie and Danlad in their opening game against Madagascar. The latter stunned Ghana 2-1.
The pair bounced back in their next game as Danlad displayed fine qualities between the sticks against Sudan, limiting the Nile Crocodiles' fearsome attack to a single goal.
His World Cup team-mate Daniel Afriyie held his nerve to convert a tie-breaker from the spot which made it 2-1 for Ghana, before another goal from Accra Hearts of Oak’s midfielder Seidu Suraj (3-1) made sure of all three points.
As Ghana graduates to the knock-out stage of the competition, they will miss out on the attacking prowess of 21-year-old Afriyie who was sent off for a reckless tackle on a Sudanese player.
Barnieh, a former U20 Black Stars captain featured in Ghana's pre-World Cup friendly against Switzerland in Abu Dhabi, impressing fans on the biggest stage.
However, the Hearts of Oak forward, who will be heading to FC Zurich in the Swiss league failed to make an appearance at the World Cup as he watched all three games from the bench. Ibrahim Danlad was also a late inclusion in Otto Addo's 26-man team.
The Asante Kotoko keeper was initially dropped from the 55-man preliminary squad but benefitted from injuries to Joseph Wollacott and Richard Ofori, to make his comeback to the team.
Cameroon's Jerome Ngom gained a surprise admission into Rigobert Song's list of 26 players for the World Cup.
The Colombe of Dja winger did not only make up numbers in Qatar. It was from Ngom's cross that Vincent Aboubakar gave Cameroon a historic 1-0 win over Brazil.
While the Black Galaxies coach Annor Walker eagerly awaits his quarter-final clash with Niger on Saturday, January 28, at the Miloud Hadefi Stadium, Ngom and his Indomitable Lions team-mates travel back home following their inability to qualify from their group.
Source: classfmonline.com/Gaby Ofei
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