Cote d’Ivoire’s Haller strikes again as Ghana’s Kudus and Ajax take full points against Groningen 


The former West Ham forward continues his purple patch of form for The Lancers with his sixth league goal 

Cote d’Ivoire striker Sebastien Haller scored to help Mohammed Kudus and Ajax to a 3-1 win over Groningen in the Dutch Eredivisie on Sunday.

The former West Ham forward’s second-half effort helped to secure full points for The Lancers in the matchday 24 fixture at Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam.

Ajax have consolidated their position at the top of the league table, leaving Groningen 18 points below.

Sunday’s strike was Haller’s sixth goal in 10 league appearances since leaving West Ham for Ajax in a club-record transfer deal in January.

After Dusan Tadic set up Ryan Gravenberch for The Lancers’ opening goal in just the fifth minute, Haller, who also has five league assists to his name so far, finished off a 54th-minute effort to make it 2-0 after being set up by David Neres.

Tadic then registered a goal of his own and his club’s third goal in the 77th minute before Ahmed El Messaoudi pulled a goal back for Groningen six minutes to full-time.

While Haller lasted for the entire duration of the games, Ghana sensation Kudus, who picked up a 48th-minute yellow card, was substituted by Jurgen Ekkelenkamp in the 63rd minute.

It was Kudus’ eighth appearance in the Eredivisie this season and his second start since returning from a recent injury spell.

The Morocco duo of Oussama Idrissi and Zakaria Labyad were introduced into the game by Ajax in the 78th and 88th minutes respectively but compatriot Noussair Mazraoui was not in the matchday squad.

Burkina Faso striker Lassina Traore was an unused substitute by the home side who also had Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana and Dutch-born forward of Ghanaian descent Brian Brobbey completely out of their matchday squad.

Haller’s fine form for Ajax will undoubtedly be good news for Cote d’Ivoire who are set to take on Niger and Ethiopia in 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches on March 26 and 30 respectively.

Likewise, Ghana will be excited to have Kudus back for the Black Stars after an absence lasting for over a year as they play South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe on March 25 and 28 respectively.

The 20-year-old last featured for CK Akonnor’s side in 2019 and has since been forced to stay out of the team due to injury.


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