2023 AFCON: Why Osman Bukari was substituted after 16 minutes
ABIDJAN, IVORY COAST – JANUARY 18: Mahmoud Ahmed Ibrahim Hassan of Egypt and Osman Bukari of Ghana during the TotalEnergies CAF Africa Cup of Nations group stage match between Egypt and Ghana at Stade Felix Houphouet Boigny on January 18, 2024 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (Photo by Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Coach Chris Hughton has explained the decision behind substituting Osman Bukari just 16 minutes after coming on.
The Red Star Belgrade winger replaced Inaki Williams in the 73rd minute but Bukari’s brief appearance was marred by a crucial mistake that led to Mostafa Mohamed’s scoring and was substituted in the 89th minute.
Hughton revealed in a post-match statement that, the decision to substitute Bukari was prompted by concerns about the player’s mindset following the pivotal error.
According to him, the coaching staff collectively agreed that withdrawing Bukari was necessary, as they believed the weight of his mistake might negatively impacted his performance.
“Osman Bukari is an exceptional player who has had a commendable season, and we appreciate him both as an individual and a player. After the mistake, emotions can take over, and we sensed that when you’re close on the touchline,” said Chris Hughton in his post-game remarks.
“We observed that the mistake, given the emotional nature of the game, seemed to affect him a bit. Therefore, we made the decision to bring about the change. This is not a personal decision against anyone; we hold him in high regard, and it doesn’t diminish our opinion of him. He’s a fantastic player who will continue to excel,” he added.
Looking ahead, Ghana will now focus on a crucial must-win game against Mozambique, scheduled for Monday, January 22, 2024. The match is set to kick off at 20:00 GMT.