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Otto Addo praises impact of substitutes in Ghana’s 2-1 victory over Mali

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Ghana’s head coach Otto Addo has commended the crucial contributions of his substitutes in the Black Stars’ 2-1 victory over Mali in the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The thrilling match, held in the Malian capital, saw Ghana overturn a 1-0 deficit to secure a vital win, thanks to goals from Ernest Nuamah and Jordan Ayew.

In his post-match press conference, Addo highlighted the significance of the substitutes’ performances, noting their pivotal roles in the team’s comeback.

“In the first 20 minutes, we struggled, but in the second half, we were better. It was even, and at the end, our substitutes made the difference,” Addo stated.

Jordan Ayew, who came off the bench in the 79th minute, scored the decisive goal in the 94th minute, sealing the victory for Ghana.

His goal was set up by fellow substitute Abdul Fatawu Issahaku, whose pressing and energy late in the game were instrumental in creating the opportunity.

“Fatawu did great with his pressing late in the game. I think we did great in the conditions here,” Addo added.

The match began with a setback for Ghana as they fell behind to a goal by Mali’s Kamory Doumbia on the stroke of halftime.

However, the Black Stars responded with determination in the second half. Ernest Nuamah’s equalizer set the stage for Ayew’s dramatic late winner, showcasing the depth and resilience of the squad.

In addition to Ayew and Issahaku, substitutes Abdul Mumin, Elisha Owusu, and Ibrahim Sulemana also made significant contributions after coming off the bench.

Their fresh legs and tactical awareness helped Ghana maintain their momentum and secure the crucial points.

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Looking ahead, the Black Stars are set to face the Central African Republic in Kumasi on Monday, June 10. With the victory over Mali, Ghana has gained vital momentum as they continue their campaign in the World Cup qualifiers.

The match against Mali demonstrated the importance of squad depth and strategic substitutions in international football.

Coach Otto Addo’s ability to effectively utilize his bench players could prove to be a key factor as Ghana strives for a place in the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

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