The head coach of the Black Stars, Chris Hughton, has characterized the second goal his side conceded in the last minutes of their AFCON opener against Cape Verde as a poor goal.
The Black Stars were down by a goal 17 minutes into the game after Richard Ofori tumbled while blocking a strike from Jovane Cabral, creating a chance for Jamiro Monteiro to strike Cape Verde’s first goal.
A brilliant goal by Majeed Ashimeru was ruled out as offside by the VAR in the 36th minute.
Upon getting an equalizer through Alexander Djiku’s header after recess, the Blue Sharks managed to get the decider after Garry Rodrigues pounced on a feeble defence and an empty net.
Speaking at a post-match press conference, Hughton expressed his disappointment in his side for the last goal.
“You can’t concede the kind of goal that we did in the last moments of the game particularly this because at that stage you are pushing to get the winner but what you can’t do is you can’t afford to lose the game and we conceded a very poor goal and hence hugely disappointed in my folks… We are incredibly hugely disappointed with the result. We came into the game with a game plan. We changed.”
In his observation of the game, he said, “We grew into a good game. We didn’t allow ourselves to become too disappointed after the goal that was ruled out from the VAR and I think we grew from that once we scored the goal in the second half, I thought we were very much on the front foot and looking at perhaps a second goal but I think it is the nature of the game.”
Justifying some changes he made on the field, he noted they are premised on the fitness levels of the players and other vital information unknown to the public.
“What we have in any game is you have to make changes in the games. There are some things that as coaches and a team, we know that the general public doesn’t know: players that don’t play as regularly as others, players’ fitness levels and so we have to assess all these things every time we make a substitution and sometimes we make substitutions which might seem defensive but it’s not the case, we wanted to make sure that we get the results.”
Hughton will next take on Egypt on Thursday, and he is certain a loss cannot be a choice.
“We have no choice but to make sure it’s a favourable result in our next game against Egypt.”