Hughton Explains Why He Subbed Osman Bukari

Black Stars Head Coach Chris Hughton says he substituted Osman Bukari after 16 minutes of play when he noticed the Red Star Belgrade winger had been overwhelmed by an expensive 74th-minute mistake that denied Ghana a win in their second AFCON group match.

“I had the feeling that after he made the mistake, the emotions were getting the better of him,” he explained to the press after their 2-2 draw against Egypt on Thursday night at the Felix Houphouet Boigny Stadium.

According to the Irish gaffer, subbing him doesn’t in any way discredit him as he is a “wonderful” player.

“We have a lot of faith in him. I have to make decisions on the bench for what I see. There were a lot of emotions in the game. For those who know Osman, he is a very committed and not only committed but an honest player and at that moment when he made the mistake, I thought it affected him in the game.”

“This is not normal… This doesn’t take anything away from his as to what we feel about him and the type of player he is but these are some of the tough decisions sometimes you have to make as a coach.”

Osman Bukari replaced Inaki Williams in the 73rd minute when the Athletic Bilbao forward made an unfortunate pass that ended in the hands of Omar Marmoush who slotted home a leveler for Egypt.

Bukari repeated a similar mistake in the 89th minute- when Ghana had regained the lead thanks to Mohammed Kudus’ second goal in the game- after the 25-year-old lost possession to the Egyptians and ended Ghana’s lead in the game.

He was immediately replaced by Joseph Paintsil. His replacement raised concerns as some Ghanaians characterized it as a “confidence killer”.

Ghana is still rooted in the bottom of Group B, while Egypt maintained their second spot with two points.

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