Tag: Jonathan_Mensah


Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing Jonathan Mensah

The heir apparent!

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Not to be confused with his namesake John Mensah, Jonathan Mensah is seemingly the heir apparent to the former.  Going by the name Jonathan on his jersey in 201o to avoid confusion with the then Captain John Mensah , he will have no such worries this year as the former captain was not included in the squad this time round. The more than capable defender will relishing his second world cup this time as certain starter as opposed to cover for the defensive partner ship of John Mensah/Isaac Vorsah four years ago.

Jonathan joined Free State Stars in the 2008 off-season and was signed from Ghanaian side Ashanti Gold.In January 2010, after joining Udinese, Jonathan moved to Spanish club Granada on loan. In July 2011, Jonathan moved to newly promoted French Ligue 1 side Evian for an undisclosed fee.

During the 2012-13 season, Jonathan struggled with fitness and form. He played six games with the reserve side in the Championnat de France Amateur level 2. Jonathan returned to the first team in 2013, and featured in the club’s opening game of the 2013-14 Ligue 1 campaign, playingthe full ninety minutes in the club’s 1-1 draw with Sochaux in August 2013.

Jonathan’s International career started in 2009, he was in the Ghana team for the under 20 youth championshipin Kigali and helped Ghana win the  tournament Jonathan’s performances during this competition earned him a call-up to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he was given the number 8 shirt usually worn by Michael Essien.Jonathan established himself as a central defensive partner for John Mensah in the absence, through injury, of first-choice centre back Isaac Vorsah. Jonathan played in two out of the three group stage games for Ghana at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and also in the round of 16 win against United States.

After an impressive World Cup in 201o, Jonathan will be hoping for a even better one this year.

Jonathan Mensah, Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

CAN 2012 Match Report: Ghana Blackstars

Mixed fortunes for Mensah as Ghana labour to 1-0 win over Botswana

African_Cup_of_Nations_Ghana_Football_Team_Me_FiRi_GHANAThe Blackstars kicked off their CAN 2012 campaign with what was in the end a hard fought victory over CAN debutants Botswana in which they played most the second half with 10 men in Franceville. Ghana started unsurprisingly with Asamoah Gyan and Jordan Ayew up front with Sulley Muntari and Andre Ayew tasked with providing the creativity from midfield. Meanwhile for Botswana, Jerome Ramatlhakwane was leading their line but a notable absentee from their line up was influential midfielder Diphetogo “Dipsy” Selolwane who was unfortunatly for them was suspended.

For those who don’t know Ghana and Botswana are ranked as two of the most “peaceful” countries in Africa, but there was nothing peaceful about the start as a number of crunching tackles came in from Botswana. Ghana started well enough and were playing the ball around comfortably in the early stages. Full-backs, Inkoom and Painstil, were operating pretty much as wingers but still Ghana could not find a way through the well-marshalled Botswana defence.

Then came the goal! With John Mensah burying an in-swinging corner from close range. Skipper Mensah evaded his marker and Gyan helped the ball along nicely with the deftest of flicks at the near post. A well worked Ghana goal. At this point Ghana looked comfortable with the two Ghana frontmen Gyan and Jordan Ayew are linking up well. Subsequently just before half time Gyan broke into the Botswana box from the right, before firing one wide of the near post. A decent chance missed.

So to the second half and the Blackstars looked to pick up where they left off in the first half. Early on Gyan was making some great runs out wide, on the left this time. Then came the pivotal point in the match when goal scorer and captain Mensah was forced into a last ditch tackle as Ramatlhakwane is put clean through. Unfortunately it was a foul and earnt him a red card for bringing the striker down on the edge of the box. Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic reacted by substituting Sulley Muntari and bringing on defender Jonathan Mensah.

From here on in Ghana were forced to protect their lead. Botswana were surging forward regularly and the Blackstars were happy to let them have possession in less dangerous areas. Occasionally Ghana threatened on the counter attack with Anthony Annan going close after a great flick on from Gyan. However Ghana held on for a professional victory.

A lot of observers were hoping for an impressive performance from Ghana to justify their billing as one of the favourites for the cup. However at this early stage of the competition a win is a win.

What are your thoughts on Ghana’s opening match? Leave comments below

Ben JK Anim-Antwi