2023 AFCON: Why play Richard Ofori over Ati-Zigi?

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Richard Ofori

Former Ghanaian goalkeeper, William Amamoo, has criticized Chris Hughton’s decision to field Richard Ofori, second-choice goalkeeper in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Orlando Pirates goalkeeper who has seen zero minutes started all of Ghana’s group games at the tournament.

Ofori faced significant backlash and scrutiny for alleged lapses in concentration, leading to Ghana’s unexpected 2-1 defeat to Cape Verde and a 2-2 draw in the final match against Mozambique.

In a crucial moment just before full-time, Ofori conceded an avoidable corner kick that was converted by Atletico Madrid defender, Reinildo, allowing Os Mambas to secure a 2-2 draw with the Black Stars.

Expressing his discontent, Amamoo questioned the decision to start Ofori over Ati Zigi, emphasizing Zigi’s post-World Cup confidence and commendable performance during the tournament.

Amamoo, who played between 2008 and 2010, shared his thoughts on Mothers FM, stating, “The defenders know his [Zigi’s] movement, but I don’t understand why the coach opted for his second-choice goalkeeper (Ofori) despite his experience.”

Amamoo argued that, Zigi’s familiarity with the current defenders should have been considered, and he expressed confusion over the decision to switch goalkeepers.

He suggested that, Ofori should have been given more time in friendly matches to build understanding with the defenders before the AFCON.

“Ofori is good, but he is not used to the current defenders. Zigi knows the defenders at the moment, and I don’t understand why Zigi should be changed.”

Ghana concluded their group stage matches in the third position with just two points after three games.


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