Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has explained that his players slowed down in the second half of their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia due to the altitude in Addis Ababa.
The Black Stars won the match 2-0 on Sunday thanks to a brace from Jordan Ayew.
The team played a perfect first half, scoring two goals. Jordan scored the first goal for his country in the fourth minute and added a second from the penalty spot in the 23rd minute.
However, the Black Stars could not replicate the same performance in the second half with the Ethiopians dominating but failed to take advantage.
“The players did well considering the nature of the pitch and secondly the altitude, it wasn’t easy. Even though I was standing out there, I was sometimes finding it difficult to breathe but for them to the whole 90 minutes, I think they’ve done really well,” Coach Appiah told reporters after the game.
“Tactically after we went ahead two goals the intention was to make sure they will be able to contain the weather and for that reason the opposing team had the opportunity to maintain the ball more.”
“At the end of the day, if they possess more you don’t have a problem but once they enter your box that’s where the problem will be created but on the whole looking at the altitude it was very difficult in the second for our players,” he added.
The result puts Ghana second in Group F on six points from three matches. They are a point behind leaders Kenya who have played one game more.
Kenya's home match against Sierra Leone over the weekend was cancelled because Sierra Leone are still serving a global ban from football.
It means the qualifying picture for Group F remains unclear.