Four Hyundai Best Young Player Award candidates were in action on Day 9 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. And while one disappointed and another was given little time to make an impact, two Ghanaian promises excelled. FIFA.com reflects.
Jonathan Mensah: The 19-year-old defender was heavily involved in only his third international and FIFA World Cup debut. He made a fine early challenge to prevent Harry Kewell going through on goal, before almost gifting Australia a goal by sleeping when in possession. Mensah thrived thereafter, though, looking formidable in the air and executing the goal-bound shot that Kewell handled on the line to earn himself a red card. He completed 44 of 54 attempted passes during 90 minutes on the field.
Andre Ayew: Another engrossing performance from the son of the great Abedi Pele. Incessantly demanding the ball, the Black Stars winger ran at his Australian opponents throughout. The Marseille player completed four of his six long balls; one of which would have put Asamoah Gyan through on goal had the striker's touch not deserted him.
Nicolas N’Koulou: The Cameroon defender did not deliver close to his best against Denmark. He was caught ball-watching on occasions, and found it hard to deal with the trickery of Nicklas Bendtner and pace of Dennis Rommedahl. He did, however, compete 40 of 47 attempted passes as his country crashed out.
Vincent Aboubakar: Was introduced 12 minutes from time, and it was mixed results thereafter. Used his considerable acceleration to work himself into a good position shortly after coming on, but wasted his subsequent cross. The Cameroonian only completed two of his five attempted passes.