Ghana coach Charles Kwablah Akonnor has admitted the absence of their UK based players left them handicapped in Monday's 1-0 World Cup qualifying defeat to Bafana Bafana.
The defeat was the first inflicted on The Black Stars by a South African side since February 2000 giving Bafana Bafana the advantage in the early stages of Group G of the 2022 Qatar FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Black Stars were without their England based contingent of Jordan Ayew (Crystal Palace), Jeffrey Schlupp, Daniel Amartey (both Leicester City), Andy Yiadom, Baba Rahman (both Reading) as South Africa is in the red list of countries in the UK which would have called for them to undergo 10 days quarantine upon their return to their bases.
The five all started in the home match against Ethiopia as Ghana as a country is not red-listed by the UK but couldn't travel to South Africa.
"The covid has affected everybody and we are aware of the situation which is why we had a plan B. Yesterday I was asked the same question and I think FIFA and CAF should have taken charge of this because we are deprived of this advantage and it is not good but then it is no excuse because we came here and did what we could especially in the first half, but we lost," says Akonnor.
The Black Stars mentor was evidently disappointed with what he saw of the replacement players brought in.
"We have given a few guys a chance a couple of times and today I must say I was a little bit disappointed even though I don’t want to be hard on them since I still need them. Those who were given the chance didn’t take it and it somehow affected the flow of play in how we wanted to play. We didn’t do well in the second half after being in control in the first half, so I am disappointed. The way forward is to try and win the next two matches against Zimbabwe," he says.
Ghana will now play Zimbabwe in back-to-back fixtures next month.
Scroll through the gallery to see some images from Bafana Bafana's win over Ghana