Soccer News of Monday, 10 September 2012
Asamoah Gyan has confirmed his partcipation in Ghana's next game despite earlier fears that club commitments could hamper his inclusion. The Al Ain forward had planned to jet out of Ghana immediately after the team's qualifier against Malawi.
However, with the cancellation of Al Ain's scheduled United Arab Emirates' Super Cup final, the player will be in Ghana's team that will play Liberia on Tuesday. "Before the [Malawi] game I thought our [Al Ain] game was on the 15th. But then I was informed that our game was postponed till the 17th so I will be with the [national] team in Liberia," Asamoah said after Ghana won 2-0 in Accra.
On the Black Stars' chances, the striker said the solidity of the team's setup will push them through the last hurdle on their way to a place in South Africa next year. "We've got a good team who are capable of doing anything at anytime. We believe that if we play together and we are united we can achieve anything."
He also spoke of his form in the game against Malawi, where his work rate in the first half mirrored that of the entire team, but upped his game in the second. "The first half did not go too well for most of us but we went into the dressing room and came back better. I told myself that I needed to put more pressure on the Malawians when they have the ball and that's exactly what the coach asked me to do. So that's what I did in the second half."
Emmanuel Clottey, who has recently been Gyan's biggest competition for the top role of first-choice striker had just a few minutes. Clottey has been in fine form, leading the African Champions League charts with twelve goals.
But after the game on Saturday, Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah said Gyan was given the nod because he felt it was the the right thing to do. "As a coach you have to look at the game and decide when somebody must come in. Clottey played at the time I felt was right," Appiah insisted.
Gyan recently returned from a self-imposed leave of the national team following a tough time with fans after the Nations Cup in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. He will also be available for Ghana's second leg on the weekend of October 12-14 in Malawi.