Bristol City’s Antoine Semenyo made his World Cup debut for Ghana yesterday. The attacker was brought off the bench in the second-half as his country were beaten 3-2 by Portugal in their first game of the tournament in Qatar.
He has now got four caps under his belt and will be looking to start in the Black Stars’ next game against South Korea on Monday.
Portugal took the lead after Cristiano Ronaldo won and then scored a penalty on 65 minutes. Former Swansea City forward Andre Ayew then levelled it up eight minutes later. However, Fernando Santos’ side subsequently went 3-1 ahead after quick-fire goals by Joao Felix and Rafael Leao.
Ghana pulled one back on 89 minutes when Osman Bukari scored but weren’t able to find a winner. Semenyo spoke after the game to our man Rahman Osman at Stadium 974 in Doha:
“Personally it is a big achievement for me, I’m happy for this and I want to show the world what I can do. We just need to be positive. We came into this game positive but we were unfortunate with the result. We worked hard, we worked together so we will bring that into the next game.”
On Portugal’s penalty, Semenyo said: “I didn’t really see it. It is always going to be 50/50 with VAR. It is a dodgy one. Obviously we’re frustrated but you just have to be positive. Look at the positives and push on for the next game.
“It (the penalty) did change the game but we just stuck to our game plan and just kept on going. We got our two goals but it just wasn’t enough today.”
Regarding Bukari’s Ronaldo-style ‘SIU’ celebration: “It was a little bit crazy but I mean I’m happy for him, it’s his first goal.”
Bristol City supporters will be eager to see how Ghana get on in their next couple of games against South Korea and Uruguay. They need to pick up a couple of results if they are to progress to the Round of 16 following yesterday’s defeat.
Semenyo is a key player Nigel Pearson’s side and his performances resulted in his international call-up. He has found the net found the net four times so far in the Championship this season.