Gladson Awako in action against Sao Tome
Gladson Awako in action against Sao Tome

Bernhard Lippert, Technical Director of the Ghana Football Association, has lauded Gladson Awako and Ismail Abdul Ganiu following their performance against Sao Tome.

The pair, alongside other local players, made the cut to C.K. Akonnor’s squad for the final round of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations [Afcon] qualifiers.

Ganiu, who plays for Asante Kotoko in the Ghana Premier League, was sensational in the game against South Africa where the Black Stars sealed their qualification at the FNB Stadium.

The central defender continued his impressive performance against Sao Tome in the final game at the Accra Sports Stadium.

However, Awako, who is U-20 World Cup winner and the captain of Great Olympics, also made his debut for the Black Stars in the final game coming in the second half where the Black Stars recorded a 3-1 win.

Mr Lippert, who replaced Francis Oti Akenteng as the technical director, in an interview with Asempa FM, reiterated that Ganiu was impressive in both games but he was impressed with Awako’s output against Sao Tome.

He stressed that he has hopes the pair, especially will make their way to the Black Stars starting squad.

Ismail Abdul Ganiu against South Africa

“In the training, they showed a very good performance but today it’s not enough to track them. I can assess Ismail Abdul Ganiu, he made two very good matches but the other players it was on the 20-minute much time.

“Talking about Gladson Awako, we know what he can do but we have to see him again and again on this level.


“Also, Sao Tome is not at the highest level for me so it’s difficult to assess a player.

“Gives him [Gladson Awako] more time, they are adapting very well in training so I think more players like Ismail Abdul Ganiu and Gladson Awako will make the way to the first eleven in the squad,” he added.

Chelsea-owned left-back Baba Rahman rounded off the Black Stars’ scoring in the second half after Jordan Ayew and Nicholas Opoku gave the Black Stars a two-goal advantage.

A howler from Asante Kotoko goalkeeper Razak Abalora led to a goal from Fernandes Carvalho. It was the Island nation’s third goal of the campaign, having conceded 16 goals.

The win ensured Black Stars finished top of Group C, with Sudan securing the second spot after they beat South Africa 2-0 in Omdurman.

With qualification secured, the focus now is to end the long-wait for the title. The Black Stars last lifted the Afcon trophy in 1982.