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Soccer News of Tuesday, 31 May 2016


AFCON qualifier: Ghana has upper hand – Ayew

Ghana is the better side if they give their 100 per cent going into the last 2017 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Mauritius on Sunday June 5, deputy captain of the Black Stars Andre Ayew has said.

The senior national team held its first training session at the Accra Sports Stadium on Monday afternoon ahead of the trip to Mauritius for the 2017 AFCON qualifying match.

Eighteen players reported for Monday's training session.

Speaking to Class Sports, Ayew, who will captain the team in the absence of substantive captain Asamoah Gyan, said the team was focused and determined to qualify for Gabon 2017.

“I have done the job a lot of times in the past and it will happen again, so what is important is that we try to keep the unity in camp. Be focused, we don’t want to put any pressure on ourselves, [we will] take our time and play our game. We know we are the better side if we give our 100 per cent. But we do not have to underrate Mauritius and do what we know to do best, that is, score the goals, get the three points, and prepare for Gabon,” he said.

The Swansea City playmaker expressed satisfaction with the performance of the new players called into the team.

Ayew said: “It is good but we don’t have too many new boys because most of them have come before, and I think they are coping very well. There are young guys coming in and most of them are playing in Europe and the local ones who have joined the team are also doing very well. It is good and hopefully they continue like that, because the better players we get, the better the team becomes.”

The Black Stars will hold two training sessions on Tuesday May 31 before they travel to Port Louis on Wednesday June 1 for the game which will be played on Sunday at the Stade George.

Ghana is leading Group H with 10 points and a draw in Mauritius will seal their place at next year’s AFCON in Gabon.