Ghana lost 2-0 to Mexico in their first international friendly game played at the Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, USA.
The Black Stars’ coach Chris Hughton handed Arsenal ace Thomas Partey the role of captaining the side in North Carolina. The 30-year Partey, who had missed Ghana’s Africa Cup Nations (Afcon) qualifier against Central African Republic and the friendly against Liberia returned to the starting XI after recovering from a groin injury that kept him out for weeks.
Lawrence Ati-Zigi maintained his place in between the posts while Stephan Ambrosius made his first start for the Black Stars as he was named alongside Nicholas Opoku and Joseph Aidoo in a three-back system that would see Gideon Mensah and Kingsley Schindler play as wing backs.
Elisha Owusu partnered with Partey in the central midfield role while Mohammed Kudus was allowed to operate behind Antoine Semenyo. The four-time African champions initiated the game with vigor, launching early attacks. However, Mexico took control of the match from the 25th minute onward.
Ghana experienced a major setback when Joseph Aidoo was substituted in the 28th minute due to injury, with Clermont Foot’s Alidu Seidu stepping in. The West African nation adopted a three-defender formation that worked effectively for most of the first half, leading to a goalless draw at halftime.
In the second half, stand-in captain Thomas Partey was replaced by Salis Abdul Samed. PSV Eindhoven star Hirving Lozano opened the scoring in the 57th minute, marking the game’s first goal. Mexico extended their lead in the 72nd minute through Atuna, who capitalised on a counter-attack. Hughton introduced more offensive power, including Jordan Ayew, Ernest Nuamah, and Inaki Williams, making tactical changes following the second goal.
However, Ghana struggled to penetrate Mexico’s high defensive line. Atuna capitalised on an error in the 72nd minute to secure the second goal and the victory for Mexico.