Sports Features of Sunday, 27 January 2013
Source: Amankwah, Nana Poku
The president of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi has offered a confidence booster with words of assurance from the Black Stars camp. In his usual calm and relaxed manner, the FA chief conceded that the going has been tough but this was to be expected since Ghana is always a big prize for teams to claim in any competition. ''When teams face Ghana, they know they are up against the best so they always raise their game and come out fighting'' A tough opening group 2-2 draw, followed by a hard fought 1-0 win over Mali has set up a potentially tricky encounter against fast improving Niger in the final Group B engagement on Monday. A win for Niger could see them through in the event of a draw or a DR Congo win over Mali in the other encounter.
In an exclusive interview with Oxigen Fans Diaries, the GFA president assured Ghanaians that the Stars camp was brimming with confidence but at the same time, there is an acute sense of responsibility not to underestimate fellow West African opponents Niger.
‘’Before our game against DR Congo and similarly against Mali, we were 100% confident of victory, so that is the same mentally we will take into the game against Niger on Monday''. Although the injury situation in the Ghana camp could be better, it is by no means a disaster.
The good news is that captain Asamoah Gyan, Anthony Annan, Isaac Vorsah, Boakye Yiadom and Johnathan Mensah all available for selection on Monday.
Who will start and who will be on the bench depends on the level of risk coach Kwasi Appiah is willing to take. With two yellow cards already, injured Mubarak Wakaso would have been suspended anyway. The player is also keen to return to action but is clearly the biggest long term injury concern for Ghana.
Nyantakyi however is focused on playing his part of the deal to ensure his boys deliver; ‘’The players have been provided with all the motivational packages they need to make the dream of a fifth continental title a reality so there’s no doubt in my mind about what is left for them to do’’.
The Black Stars must pick up all three points against Niger to maintain top spot and stay in Port Elizabeth where they will play the quarter finals.
By Nana Poku Amankwah
Oxigen Fans Diaries : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Fans-Diaries/439735516099824 Proudly sponsored by GNPC - ''fuelling the passion of the nation''