Ghanaian Teen Afena-Gyan Red-carded For Roma; Worried Coach Mourinho Reacts
The 18-year-old had a bad day at the office against Spezia in the Italian Serie A on Monday
Ghanaian youngster Felix Afena-Gyan was sent off as Roma beat Spezia 2-0 in the Italian Serie A on Monday.
A second half substitute, the 18-year-old was disappointingly marched off the pitch in injury time for a second bookable offense, having been adjudged by referee Alessandro Prontera to have deliberately handled the ball in the box.
Goals from Chris Smalling and Roger Ibanez Da Silva in either half of the matchweek 17 fixture at Stadio Olimpico won all three points for Jose Mourinho’s men, who are sixth on the league table.
Spezia, on the other hand, sit just outside the relegation zone.
With Roma 2-0 up, Afena-Gyan was brought on for Borja Mayoral in the 64th minute.
Six minutes into his introduction, the teenager received a first yellow card after a 50-50 challenge for the ball.
In the third minute of injury-time, his night turned from bad to worse when he was found to have controlled the ball with his hand en route to scoring a seemingly third goal for his side.
The striker, unaware that his act had been spotted by the referee, run to the fans to celebrate his strike, only to be later notified that the goal had been disallowed.
Shortly afterwards, he was brandished a yellow card for his unsporting behavior, necessitating a sending-off for two yellow cards.
“I prefer not to speak about the referee. In my opinion, he did okay. I did not see either of the two incidents that led him to book Felix and I would rather not say anything,” Roma manager Mourinho said of the Ghanaian’s bad night
“But, that being said, we seem to continue to have this incredible record of picking up yellow cards. Even the yellow cards before, to Vina and Kumbulla … it’s too much.
“We are a bit of a naive team, we are certainly not aggressive, and yet we still have this tally of yellow cards.”
Monday’s game was Afena-Gyan’s first game for Roma since scoring twice against Genoa last month, having been out after contracting Covid-19.
The attacker, who turned down a Ghana call-up last month, could receive another call up for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.
Compatriot Emmanuel Gyasi, who could also star for Ghana at Afcon, captained Spezia in Monday’s game.