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Black Meteors captain Daniel Afriyie Barnieh has shaked off the disappointment from the U-23 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) with a superb performance for his club FC Zurich.
The former Accra Hearts of Oak star scored a double for the Swiss club in their preseason friendly win over Sportanlage Heerenschürli Stadium today.
Barnieh made a significant impact on the match, extending his team’s lead with a great strike in the 68th minute. To cap off a superb performance, he sealed their resounding victory with a composed finish in the 87th minute.
The Ghanaian talent joined FC Zurich earlier this year from the Ghana Premier League side, Hearts of Oak. While he faced limited playing time during the second half of the 2022/23 season, making only two appearances, Barnieh’s performance in the friendly signals his readiness to make a strong impact in the upcoming campaign.
Barnieh has come under heavy criticism following Ghana’s failure to qualify for the Olympic Games, where they were eliminated in the group stage of the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations held in Morocco.
Barnieh, who served as the captain of the Ghanaian team, did not manage to find the net or provide an assist during the tournament.
In a recent interview, former Hearts of Oak legend Charles Taylor compared him to Dominic Adiyiah.
According to him, Barnieh could follow in the footsteps of Adiyiah, who faded away after starring at the U20 World Cup in 2009.
Taylor said the player has lost focus and warned that he would fade into obscurity if he doesn’t regain focus.
“He has lost focus on the field. If he doesn’t receive proper psychological support, his performance could deteriorate even further,” Taylor told Angel FM, as quoted by 3Sports.
“You can simply compare his previous performances to his current state; he might even fare worse than Adiyiah.”
The 22-year-old helped the Phobians to win the Ghana Premier League and back-to-back FA Cup titles before joining Swiss side FC Zurich.