James Kwesi Appiah, head coach of the Black Stars has said midfielder Mubarak Wakaso was substituted in the game against Burkina Faso, due to ankle and hip injuries.
Answering the media on why he substituted the influential midfielder, who emerged as Ghanas penalty expert in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa, coach Akwesi Appiah, said the player had challenges with his hip and knee during the game, which made it difficult for him to continue.
He said though the player persevered in the game despite the injuries, he could longer continue and requested for his substitution.
There was no way I could substitute a player, who was one of my best bets for penalties, when the game was obviously heading to penalties.
It was not deliberate, I was compelled to change him because he was injured and he told me he could not continue the game. Coach Kwesi Appiah explained.
Wakaso, who was having his maiden appearance in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, became one of the influential players in the team as well as a penalty expert.
He became the teams top scorer with four goals, three of which were penalties he expertly converted.
Commenting on the poor penalty shoot-outs exhibited by the players in the game against Burkina Faso, the coach described the output of his players as unfortunate.
From Dubai where we had our pre-tournament preparations to South Africa, we practiced penalty shoot-outs after every training session.
I was surprised the players failed miserably during the shoot-outs in the game against Burkina Faso. Coach Kwesi Appiah stated.
Coach Kwesi Appiah, has been widely criticized for some basic tactical errors with the substitution of Wakaso, as one of such criticisms.
Many pundits were of the opinion that his decision to substitute Wakaso was ill-timed, when he knew the game was heading for penalties.
Ghana lost 3-2 on penalties to Burkina Faso in the semi finals of the competition, after the match ended one all in regulation time.
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