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Sports News of Sunday, 30 June 2019


Kwesi Appiah bemoans Stars' profligacy in Cameroon stalemate

Black Stars Coach, Kwesi Appiah Black Stars Coach, Kwesi Appiah

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has lamented that his team's profligacy in front of goal caused them the chance of picking a win against Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt.

Appiah believes his men did their best against the defending Champions in a match that ended in a goaless draw on Saturday at the Ismailia Stadium.

It was the Black Stars' second straight draw of the competition following their opening day 2-2 draw with Benin.

“It’s quite unfortunate that we couldn’t utilise our chances, but personally, I was happy with the way the boys played," Appiah said at the post-match press conference.

“Most African teams like to pack the middle of the park so it’s not easy trying to play through the middle, so what we did was to try and play out wide and send crosses in.

Appiah once againt was forced into making a change as Christian Atsu was brought off injured on the quarter-hour mark, just the new castle fizzed an early effort just wide of the target.

Under increasing pressure from Cameroon, the Black Stars twice had goalkeeper Richard Ofori to thank for denying both Clinton N'Jie and Christian Bassogog before the break.

Christian Bassogog had two of the best opportunities to give Cameroon a victory that would have sent it through to the knockout rounds with a game to spare and avoided a stressful finish but his shot just before was saved by Ofori, who leaped high to his right to keep the ball out.

Ghana however came closest to snatching all three points in the second half when Kwabena Owusu hit the bar after breaking from his own interception in the 88th minute, a performance Appiah has hailed.

"Tactically the boys played the way I wanted them to play," he said.

"Our tactical plan was to try and soak the pressure and play on the counter-attack.

"We did our best and missed lots of chances and we were close to winning."

Four-time champions Ghana have won only one of their last six Afcon games (two draws and three losses) after winning six of their previous seven.
The result means the title holder still leads Group F, with Ghana in second place, but either could miss out on qualifying for the last 16 if it slips up in the final round of games.

Currently third on the group standings, the Black Stars have their jobs cut out ahead of their last game against Guinea-Bissau, as anything short of a win could prompt an early exit from the competition.