Ghana’s U23 team were reduced to mere shadow-chasers as Japan U23 annihilated them 6-0 in an international friendly on Saturday afternoon in Japan.
A high-class technical and tactical Japanese side just went out there and took Samuel Paa Kwesi Fabin and his charges to the cleaners.
The victory was high class for the Asians against a low-grade performers from West Africa who looked lost and missing from the entire period of the game.
Real Madrid’s Takefusa Kubo, Ao Tanaka of Kawasaki Frontale and Yuki Soma were the men in charge of the Japanese armoury and they decided to do what they want with a Ghana side that was bereft of so many ingredients.
First, head coach Paa Kwesi Fabin opted for William Essu, who was just a No.2 for the Ghana U20 team in February at the U20 AFCON and plays for the struggling Vision FC in the Ghanaian second-tier. The decision to start the 18-year-old in post against the more experienced Richmond Ayi shocked everyone.
Samuel Obeng, Precious Boah, Jonah Attuquaye and Sabit Abdulai had no telepathy among them – but that was not even the problem. The bigger issue was that the Ghana team failed from the bench. Precious Boah, whose ball protection is a huge credit to the team, failed to press upfront same as Spain-based Samuel Obeng who allowed the Japanese to do whatever they wanted with the ball.
There was no high, media or low pressing at work. The team just allowed Japan to go according to their high technical play and it worked to perfection. Instead of going man-marking, Fabin charged his players to do zonal marking and they even did that poorly as the young Blue Samurai toyed with the team.
At the end they handed Ghana one of the nation’s biggest disgrace in football as they boosted their preparations ahead of the Olympic Games.