CK Akonnor’s tenure got off to a disappointing start on Friday when the Black Stars were beaten 3-0 by Mali at the Emir Hotel Sport complex in Antalya.
Hamari Traore opened the scoring for the Eagles in the third minute with a superb close-range finish after breaking down from the right flank to avoid a Gideon Mensah challenge.
Then debutant who plays for Stade de Reims and the Eagles, El-Bilal Toure doubled Mali’s lead after a fine cross early in the second half before Amadou Haidara added the third 15 minutes to end of normal time.
The Francophone nation dominated the game at an early stage, with the Ghanaian side that fieled debutants Tarique Fosu (Brentford) and Alexander Djiku (Strasbourg), struggling to find their rhythm.
Ghana took 25 minutes to make their first attempt when Bernard Mensah picked out Jordan Ayew, but the Crystal Palace striker’s effort went over the bar.
Ghana gradually progressed into the game and moments later, with a chance to Jordan who again sent off the ball wide after fine interplay by his brother Andre and new Arsenal signing Thomas Partey.
Akonor will also bear the bad luck of his side with injuries.
Eugene Ansah was sent off with an injury for Kamaldi Suleiman late in the first half, while Mensah was pulled off for Emanuel Lomoty shortly after halftime.
Exactly an hour later, Ghana had to replace Nicholas Opoku with Joseph Aidoo after the center-back limped off with injury.
After 20 minutes, Akonor turned to Caleb Ekuban to replace Gideon Mensah. Five minutes later, Ghana were down by 3-0 after Haidara added third goal for the Eagles.
Black Stars fans will be disappointed with the country’s defensive performance, especially since Ghana has conceded 13 goals in its last 10 matches against Mali.
Likewise, they have only been beaten once by the Eagles in the last five matches between regional rivals.
The Black Stars will bounce back when they face Qatar in another international match on Monday, while Mali take on Iran on Tuesday.