Afriyie Acquah: Another Black Star sees red
Afriyie Acquah became the second Ghanaian midfielder to be sent off in Serie A in the space of two days when he was shown a red card for Sampdoria.
The Black Star followed in the footsteps of his national team colleague Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu when he was sent off in Italian league action against Hellas Verona.
Badu was sent off on Tuesday evening as Udinese were defeated at home against Inter Milan.
Down to ten men, Samp could only manage a point at home against mid-table Verona, missing the opportunity to consolidate their position within the Europa League places.
Acquah was dismissed 12 minutes after the break, when he was handed a second yellow card for a deliberate handball.
At this point the two sides were level after a goalless first period, and despite being a man down, Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side took the lead when Lorenzo Di Silvestri finished superbly after a fine Luis Muriel effort.
They could only hold their advantage for a moment or two, however, as veteran striker Luca Toni headed home—finding the net for the 18th time this term—to give the visiting side hope of an unlikely reward.
It was Sampdoria who had the best chance of securing victory late on, but Pierluigi Gollini saved substitute Samuel Eto’o’s late effort.
Acquah featured on the right side of Mihajlovic’s 4-3-1-2 formation, making his first appearance for the club since the 1-0 victory over Inter Milan on March 22.
While the on-loan Hoffenheim midfielder will be disappointed with his dismissal, and for letting his side down, another Ghanaian player had a much more successful encounter.
Jerry Duncan on the left flank was a much more effective presence for the Blucerchiati and, indeed, was one of the home side’s most effective performers.
He took three shots, of which one was on target, according to WhoScored, and—like Acquah before his dismissal—contributed two key passes.
The 22-year-old demonstrated his fine reading of the game with three interceptions and will look to play a key role over the coming weeks as Samp look to secure a European spot.
With five games left, the Genoa-based club sit in fifth—one point ahead of their city rivals.