Hughton hoping nerves won't come into play against Comoros

Hughton hoping nerves won't come into play against Comoros
Ex-Brighton and Norwich coach Chris Hughton

by Staff Reporter

Monday Nov 20, 2023. 14:00

Ghana head coach Chris Hughton will be expecting a more confident performance from his team against Comoros at the Moroni Stadium on Tuesday evening.

Kick-off is at 6pm CAT (SA, GMT+2).

The Black Stars got their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign underway with a narrow 1-0 victory over Madagascar in Kumasi on Friday courtesy of a last-gasp winner from Inaki Williams.

Hughton’s side had lost their previous two games against Mexico (2-0) and the United States (4-0) last month after going unbeaten in five matches since bowing out of the 2022 World Cup at the group stages.

Hughton admitted his players were nervous at first against the Barea, but was pleased to see them raise their game in the second half despite leaving it until the 96th minute to claim all three points.

“That’s football, sometimes it takes a second for something to happen,” he said of their dramatic win on home soil. “We showed a bit of nervousness in the first half.

“This is the first game of the campaign. We were a little bit nervous. The second-half performance was excellent.”

The West African giants are third in Group I on goal difference after Comoros and Mali also triumphed in the opening round of the qualifiers.

The Coelacanths occupy top spot following their 4-2 win over Central African Republic in Moroni on Friday, with the Eagles having beaten Chad 3-1.

Younes Zerdouk’s side had to battle back from behind though, after Abdel-Hakim Abdallah’s own-goal in the 10th minute put the Wild Beasts ahead. Kassim M’Dahoma hit back for the hosts in the 29th minute and Benjaloud Youssouf (50′) gave them the lead early in the second half before Rafiki Said (58′) and Myziane Maolida (67′) completed the comeback win.

Younn Zahary (73′) also put past his own goalkeeper to halve the deficit and Zerdouk will view it as a positive that the visitors didn’t manage to breach their defence throughout the 90 minutes.

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