Sports News of Sunday, 10 February 2013
Kwesi Appiah is confident the experience gleaned by his young Ghana squad from the Africa Cup of Nations will stand them in good stead in the future.
The Black Stars finished fourth after losing 3-1 to Mali in the third-place playoff on Saturday.
Kwadwo Asamoah's goal in the final ten minutes of normal time was not enough to prevent defeat after Mali got their goals through Mahamadou Samassa, Seydou Keita and Sigamary Diarra.
However, the calm Black Stars coach who has been in the job for close to ten months said it was too early to sound the alarm.
“I have had this team for almost ten months now and I have introduced eleven young players into this competition [Nations Cup],” Appiah said after the game in Port Elizabeth.
“When you are building a team, I mean a national team, it takes time to be hundred percent sure. I would say the players have done so well by getting to the semi-finals. I don’t expect that when you are building a team, you can suddenly think you can win everything. I personally believe that they have done so well.”
Ghana were pushing towards the final until the semi-final defeat to Burkina Faso on penalties derailed their ambitions.
Appiah insists that the defeat to the Stallions knocked his young team off their stride.
“Having lost the game against Burkina Faso, you are dealing with young guys who have been introduced into the national team and came into this competition for the first time. And automatically, there was a lot of psyching up to raise their morale to perform.
The Ghana coach, however, sees his the team's performance from a different perspective.
“I personally believe they performed very well, It is unfortunate. When you have your chances and don’t take it, that is where sometimes you see experience and those coming up.
“Considering that fact that I have so many [young players] in the team, I believe they will do well anytime they are given this opportunity again because by then, they would have had experience in playing in competitions,” Appiah said.