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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey – Countrymen step up in Ghanaian’s absence – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

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PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: Thomas Partey - Countrymen step up in Ghanaian's absence

Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey (2-R)

by
Bertin Basson

Wednesday Nov 15, 2017. 13:00


Ghana head coach Kwesi Appiah would’ve been content with the performance of his troops in their 1-1 draw against Egypt in Kumasi this past weekend, considering the Black Stars were without several key members.

Thomas Partey – suspended for the clash – has been in outstanding form this season for both club and country, and while his presence might have made the difference, Appiah got the chance to see others first hand.

Mubarak Wakaso was his bustling self on his return to the national team, while Ebenezer Ofori held his own in midfield.

It was Edwin Gyasi’s goal, though, that rescued a point for the West African nation who’s 2018 World Cup hopes had already gone up in smoke leading up to the clash at the Baba Yara Stadium.

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It will now been interesting to see how Ghana shape next year, with Partey set to be the linchpin – who will start alongside him as the Black Stars turn their attention to 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in the New Year.

Ghana got up and running with a 5-0 thumping of Ethiopia.

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Gavin Hunt: Time for our big players to step up – MTN8 2017

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by
Graeme Jackson

Saturday Sep 09, 2017. 14:00


Bidvest Wits’ ‘big players’ must step up for today’s MTN8 semifinal, second leg clash against Cape Town City, according to coach Gavin Hunt.

Wits, the reigning MTN8 champs, are looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit after losing the first leg in Cape Town last month.

The Clever Boys, who also won the Absa Premiership title last season, have had a tough start to the 2017/18 campaign, with teams looking to claim their scalp.

“Any game we play teams will want to [try and outplay us]… I mean, we played Golden Arrows and they were unbelievable, Free State Stars were like men possessed,” Hunt said at the club’s media day earlier in the week.

“That’s what we’re going to get. When you play against a team that has won the league, people will have extra motivation.

“But once we start settling in, and we start playing two to three games a week, I think we’ll see a lot of things happening. Then teams can’t keep that intensity up every game.”

Hunt added that he welcomes the new demands on his team and hopes to see a response from them, starting with today’s match.

“There’s definitely [added pressure on us], it’s always like that and so it should be. You want that pressure, don’t you? We want that,” he added.

“We’ve got big players who can handle the situation, it’s a matter of the big players stepping up a little more and that’s pretty much what it’s about.”

The Wits v City match at Bidvest Stadium will kick-off at 15h00 CAT.

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