Chris Hughton has justified his decision to have taken off Osman Bukari off in Ghana’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) clash against Egypt following a mistake committed by the player.
In a thrilling encounter at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), Ghana faced setbacks as defensive errors cost them a lead twice, culminating in a 2-2 draw against Egypt on Thursday night.
One of the key moments came when Osman Bukari a substitute replacing Inaki Williams, committed a crucial mistake leading to Egypt’s equaliser. Williams had earlier committed a similar error leading to Egypt’s first equaliser.
Ghana’s coach, Chris Hughton, defended his decision to substitute off Bukari shortly after the error, citing the impact it had on the player’s performance. Hughton emphasised that, despite the mistake, the coaching staff holds high regard for Bukari and acknowledged his commitment and honesty on the field.
“We like Osman Bukari a lot and we have a lot of faith in him. I have to make decisions on the bench for what I see, and my feeling is there were a lot of emotions in the game,” explained Hughton.
“He is a very committed and honest player. At that moment, I thought the mistake affected him in the game.”
Bukari, known for his consistent heroics off the bench, had won the hearts of many Ghanaians with memorable performances, including a stellar goal at the 2022 World Cup against Portugal. Despite this, his inclusion in the AFCON clash did not go as planned, prompting Hughton to make a tough decision for the team.
“This is not normal, so to make this decision is because of what myself and the coaches see. This doesn’t take anything away from what we feel about him and the type of player and individual he is,” added Hughton. “But there are some tough decisions sometimes you have to make as a coach.”
Ghana, still in search of their first win at the tournament, faces a crucial must-win encounter against Mozambique on Monday. The outcome of this match will determine their fate in advancing to the next stage of the competition.