Coach Hughton takes blame for USA loss
The Black Stars head coach, Chris Hughton, has rendered an unqualified apology and taken responsibility for his side’s 0-4 defeat to the United States in an international friendly at GEODIS Park, Nashville, Tennessee, on Tuesday, October 17, 2023.
It was the second successive defeat after losing 0-2 to Mexico last Saturday in the first of a two-match US tour by the Ghanaian team.
The Americans secured a commanding lead, scoring four goals by the 40th minute as Giovanni Reyna netted twice, Christian Pulisic converted a penalty while Folarin Balogun drilled the final nail in Ghana's coffin with a sublime finish just before half time
In the aftermath of the game, Coach Hughton expressed his disappointment with the team's underwhelming performance but also found some silver linings in the two matches. He promised to address the team's shortcomings before the players regroup next month for two 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.
"I'm very sorry, and I take responsibility for the poor performance against the USA,” he said.
"It's a huge disappointment after the defeat against Mexico. What I wanted was a reaction today from the team, to give us control in the middle of the park and enough threat up front but we conceded three goals in 20 minutes and at that stage the game changed completely.
The coach identified goal-scoring and difficulties in coping with the pace of the American attack as some of the team's weaknesses. However, he assured fans that he would work tirelessly to turn the team's fortunes around when they face Madagascar and Comoros in November.
"We have two World Cup games in November and it's my responsibility as coach to turn these bad defeats into better ones where we can win both games," he assured.
Despite accepting the blame for the team's defeats, the Irishman maintained that he was the most suitable gaffer to handle the team. “If you ask me if I feel like I'm the right person for this job, the answer is yes.”
In a post-match reaction, experienced forward Jordan Ayew acknowledged that the team was not performing at its full potential due to the transitional phase they found themselves in, with new players needing time to settle down and establish team cohesion.
"I just feel that we need a bit of more time because it's a new group with a lot of new players, and most of the players are really inexperienced. These type of games are a reality check and now we know our level and we know we have to keep working hard," admitted Ayew who made his 93rd appearance for Ghana on Tuesday, October 17.