Ghana international Samuel Inkoom climbed off the bench to make his debut for the Ghana Premier League (GPL) Champions Accra Hearts of Oak against his former club Asante Kotoko in Kumasi on Sunday, the FIFA World Cup quarter finalist gave out a performance that swept spectators and pundits off their feet.
Inkoom replaced midfielder Gladson Awako in the 63rd minute of the game and lasted for the rest of the 27 minutes in addition to the 5 minutes added time in his debut against his former club Asante Kotoko. As part of his tactical approach, Hearts of Oak coach Samuel Boadu shifted captain Fatawu Mohammed from the right-back position to the midfield, pushing Inkoom to his natural right-back position as the game approached the management section with Hearts of Oak already down by a lone goal, courtesy a breathtaking penalty call from referee Joseph Kenny Padi.
The introduction of the FIFA U20 World Cup winner gave the visitors a slight urge over the home side Asante Kotoko, as his decent trademark crosses into the box posed more questions to the Kotoko backline. Asante Kotoko goalkeeper, Ibrahim Danlad, who before the introduction of Inkoom was virtually having a holiday in the post, was immediately forced into the business of game management antics as pressure began to mount on his shield of the defence line.
The Inkoom impact was at the peak on the 85th minute mark, when Hearts of Oak won a free kick at the right side of Asante Kotoko defence, adjacent the box with an approximation of 25 metres away from goal. Inkoom stood up to the occasion with curled delivery of the free kick only to be denied by the Asante Kotoko goalkeeper Danlad, who stretched to punch it away from danger. Danlad was kept busy in the latter stages of the game as crosses from Inkoom into the box threatened the defence.
Asante Kotoko carried the day, but the fans of the home side were left sitting on tenterhooks as the last 20 minutes of the game saw the overlapping prowess of Inkoom from the right side left them living on a knife-edge.
Ghana is a nation known for dept football talents, and Inkoom, who has proved on countless occasions for the national team what he brings on to the national team, has proven that he still got more to offer the nation. Sulley Muntari’s impact on the domestic league so far has generated calls for his return to the national team, and now with Inkoom’s return to the domestic league and the glimpses of brilliance he has shown, gives hope that the local league has got more options to offer when it comes to national team call ups.
Inkoom has played for Ghana in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup finals, and was part of the Ghana squad that finished second in the Angola 2010 Africa Cup of nations.
Watch the highlights of Samuel Inkoom’s debut below: