Soccer News of Friday, 25 January 2013

Source: GFA

Gyan hails Wakaso's confidence from the spot

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan is confident that Mubarak Wakaso will prove to be a success after the youngster scored his first Africa Cup of Nations goal.

The 22 year-old midfielder gave the Black Stars a deserved 1-0 win against Mali in Group B at the competition after converting a first-half penalty on Thursday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The opportunity to take the spot kick fell to Wakaso after Gyan, who has opted against taking penalty kicks for the national team due to previous setbacks passed it on.

He did not disappoint from the spot and Gyan is impressed with the confidence shown by Wakaso.

“Yeah, it was a great kick,” Gyan said in a response to a question about Wakaso's goal from the spot. “He is a young lad coming up. We need to support him.”

“He had the confidence to pick the ball to shoot. It was a great shot and we all won and I think everybody is celebrating his goal. I say kudos to him and the team.”

The win erodes a slow start to the competition after Ghana drew 2-2 with DR Congo and takes Black Stars to the top in the Group B standings with four points from their opening two matches.

And for Gyan, the victory made the difference from the first match.

“The difference is that we won. We always come with the mentality of winning,” Gyan said.

“Although we had a couple of chances in the first game [match against DR Congo], we came with that mentality of winning this game.

“[Mali] They’ve got great players but we came in with a strong mentality. We needed the win badly and we are looking forward to the next game.”

The Black Stars have a final group game against Niger to come in Port Elizabeth on Monday as they attempt to progress from Group B.