Jordan Ayew is certainly a man who splits opinion among Crystal Palace fans but the experienced forward won the hearts of Ghana supporters on Monday as he produced a superb display in their win over South Korea at the World Cup.
The 31-year-old struggled as a substitute in the Black Stars’ 3-2 defeat against Portugal in their World Cup opener but was trusted with a start by manager Otto Addo for their vital game against South Korea this week.
He redeemed himself by playing a huge part in their 3-2 victory yesterday, which likely sets up a winner-takes-all game against 2010 rivals Uruguay in their final group fixture later this week.
As per SofaScore, Ayew would earn a strong 6.9/10 rating for his performance in Qatar, as he was instrumental in Ghana taking a 2-0 lead.
First, his beautifully-flighted free-kick would cause chaos in the South Korea box, allowing Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu to fire home the opener.
He then produced a similarly brilliant cross for Mohammed Kudus to head home the second, so it was no surprise to see Ghanaian journalist Owuraku Ampofo describe his first-half performance as a “masterclass.”
During his time on the pitch, the former Aston Villa man would register two key passes, an 88% pass success rate and two crosses, all of which were an improvement on his performances in the Premier League this season, where he has averaged one key pass, an 83.4% pass success rate and 0.2 crosses per game.
The attacker, who earns £32.5k-per-week at Selhurst Park, would also play a big part from a defensive perspective, as he registered three tackles, one clearance and one interception, which again was an increase on his Premier League average of 2.2 tackles, 0.9 clearances and 0.2 interceptions per game.
Patrick Vieira will certainly hope that the forward can replicate performances like this when top-flight football in England resumes after Christmas, as Ayew has been largely disappointing for the Eagles so far this campaign, with no goals and just one assist to his name.
Therefore, it seems clear that Ayew was crucial to Ghana’s important win that gives them a real chance of securing qualification to the knockout stages, and he certainly redeemed himself in the eyes of fans after his disappointing cameo against Portugal last week.
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