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Chris Hughton: Why Thomas Partey didn’t play against Angola

Ghana coach Chris Hughton has opened up on why Thomas Partey did not feature in Monday’s 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier against Angola.

According to him, Partey was carrying an injury and, therefore, it wasn’t prudent to take the risk of playing him in the game.

The Arsenal midfielder was part of the Black Stars squad that travelled to Luanda to take on the Black Antelopes, which made his omission from the starting line-up a surprise.

Having captained his country in the reverse fixture four days earlier at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, the 29-year-old didn’t play any minutes away at Angola.

Instead, Hughton opted for the midfield duo of Abdul Salis Samed and Edmund Addo, with Majeed Ashimeru coming on in the second half to make an impact.

The Black Stars went on to draw 1-1 with Angola, Osman Bukari’s late strike cancelling out Lucas Joao’s early second-half goal.

Explaining why Partey travelled with the team but didn’t play, Hughton said the Arsenal man was carrying an injury.

“Thomas [Partey] has some small injury issues and we felt it was too big of a risk to start him,” the Ghana boss said.

Meanwhile, the Black Stars remain at the summit of Group E, where they are currently a point above second-placed Central African Republic (CAR).

With two more qualifying games remaining, Ghana could secure qualification to the 2023 AFCON if they win their next match against Madagascar in June.

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