Ghanaians were surprised on Friday to see Otto Addo play with two teenagers in the Black Stars attack against Nigeria.
In spite of the inadequate experience in AS Roma attacker, Felix Afena-Gyan and Sporting Lisbon U-23’s Fatawu Issahaku, the teenagers made a huge impression and registered their names on the minds of many.
Afena-Gyan especially on the night was full of running, energetic and hardworking. His pace proved a big problem for the Super Eagles defenders who were just experienced enough to keep him at bay.
Issahaku who some months ago had grown in the Ghanaian Premier League as one of their brightest talents also shone. His first-half shot was one of the closest Ghana came to scoring on the night and he generally had a good game.
Like Ghana, Nigeria also had a teenager on its bench. Perhaps the most talented of the youngsters invited for the game on both sides. Akinkunmi Amoo’s progress in the last two years has been nothing short of great.
From playing for the Golden Eaglets at the World Cadet Championship in 2019, his career has enjoyed an upward trajectory. He earned a move to FC Copenhagen in the Winter transfer window in what was a club-record sale for his former Swedish team, Hammarby FC.
For many, Amoo is an unknown element. His actual ability is yet to be wholly ascertained and his invitation came on the back of impressive reports of his performances in Sweden.
Since he moved to Denmark, he started his first game and scored just days before his arrival for the game against Ghana. The 19-year old attacking midfielder however presents a variety of options, including the unseen.
Addo’s display of bravery in unleashing Afena-Gyan on his debut was probably unexpected by the Nigerian bench, but that’s what makes football interesting. The technicalities of it is respected when it’s unseen yet provides good results. Nigeria can also hold such cards close and unveil the untracked.
While this may seem almost impossible, considering Nigeria’s typical desire to go for the known elements, Amoo could provide outside possibilities of providing Nigeria’s version of a secret plan.
As it stands, the Ghanaians must be quite aware of everyone else in the team, as they are top players in major European leagues. Amoo, although massively talented isn’t considered such an adversary yet. Only a few coaches would pay attention to his dangers and it may be the card to play.
Austin Eguavoen has a huge work on his hands and must consider what the youngest member of the team can be up to on his day.
With Samuel Chukwueze now ruled out of the game, Amoo should be considered as one of the players that can effectively replace him on the right.
Risks make legends, and the most unexpected sometimes may have the greatest motivation and may be holding the most potent weaponry.