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2022 World Cup stars shining at the TotalEnergies CHAN in Algeria

The Ghanaian duo of Ibrahim Danlad, Afriyie Barnieh and Cameroon’s Jerome Ngom Mbekeli have inspired their nations at the ongoing TotalEnergies African Nations Championship (CHAN) Algeria 2023.

On the back of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, the aforementioned players were highlighted as marquee players for Ghana and Cameroon. They are living up to the billing.

Ngom’s Cameroon was placed in a three-team Group E alongside Congo and Niger but the Indomitable Lions were unable to progress from the tricky group.

Despite the exit of his country following the conclusion of the group stage on Tuesday, the 24-year-old put up a display in the tournament that is praiseworthy.

He won the TotalEnergies Man of the Match award for his performance in their 1-0 win Congo. Ngom’s all-around play was unmatched: swapping wings, helping out the defence and leading almost every attack. 

It wasn’t an all-that-smooth ride for the Black Galaxies and the 2022 World Cup ace, Afriyie and Danlad in their opening game against Madagascar. The latter stunned Ghana 2-1.

The pair bounced back in their next game as Danlad displayed fine qualities between the sticks against Sudan, limiting the Nile Crocodiles’ fearsome attack to a single goal. 

His World Cup team-mate Daniel Afriyie held his nerve to convert a tie-breaker from the spot which made it 2-1 for Ghana, before another goal from Seidu Suraj (3-1) made sure of all three points.

As Ghana graduates to the knock-out stage of the competition, they will miss out on the attacking prowess of 21-year-old Afriyie who was sent off deep into stoppage time against Sudan.

Barnieh, a former U20 Black Stars captain featured in Ghana’s pre-World Cup friendly against Switzerland in Abu Dhabi, impressing fans of the Black Stars.

However, the Hearts of Oak forward failed to make an appearance at the World Cup as he watched all three games from the bench. Danlad (19) was a late inclusion in Otto Addo’s 26-man team.

The Asante Kotoko keeper was initially dropped from the 55-man preliminary squad but benefitted from injuries to Joseph Wollacott and Richard Ofori, to make his comeback to the team. 

Cameroon’s Jerome Ngom gained a surprise admission into Rigobert Song’s list of 26 players for the World Cup.

The Colombe of Dja winger did not only make up numbers in Qatar. It was from Ngom’s cross that Vincent Aboubakar pounced to give Cameroon a historic 1-0 win over Brazil.

While Black Galaxies coach Annor Walker eagerly awaits his quarter-final clash with Niger on Saturday, Ngom is his Indomitable Lions teammates travel back home following their inability to qualify from their group.


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