Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan has spoken ahead of his side’s titanic clash against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon in the semifinals of the ongoing AFCON 2017 in Gabon.
The Stars were made to work hard for their 2-1 victory over DR Congo in the quarterfinals whiles Cameroon needed penalties to beat Senegal (5-4) to set up the meet between the two sides which is a repeat of the 2008 semifinal game when Ghana, playing as hosts lost by 1-0 to Cameroon.
With a place in the final up for grabs, both sides are brimming with poise to take a step closer to clinching what would be a fifth AFCON triumph in their history.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the mammoth encounter, captain of Ghana Asamoah Gyan who missed out on the game against the DR Congo through injury shed light on Ghana’s chances, his own fitness worries going into the game and what it will mean for Ghana to clinch a second consecutive final appearance at the AFCON.
“It is a really big game for all of us and we cannot wait for Thursday enough. What we want is to get to the final and that is what we are focusing on. Cameroon are a tough side but so are we and it is going to be an interesting and tough game but we working on doing everything we can to make it to the final. All we want is getting the ultimate and we are all in the right frame of mind to play a good game against Cameroon and then see who we meet in the final which is our sole focus now. We want to win, it does not matter how we play, all we want is to make it into the finals.
“Cameroon are a very good team and you can see how they fight and sacrifice for each other on the field and in the quarterfinals, everybody predicted Senegal to win but we all saw what happened. They fought like the Lions they are, against Senegal and the key for this Cameroon side is the togetherness in their team but we also have such togetherness in camp. They have young impressive players but so do we and it will be an interesting game”.
When quizzed on his fitness issues and his chances of featuring in the game, this is what he had to say.
“Im working on my fitness momentarily and I have felt some much improvement in the last few days. Hopefully I will be able to fully partake in the last training session before the game and the medical team will declare me fit for the game on Thursday.
Ibrahim Tanko was deputy coach for Cameroon between 2013 and 2015 and is currently Ghana’s scout at the AFCON and he has vowed to use his knowledge of the Indomitable Lions to aid in Ghana’s bid. Asked how impactful Tanko’s knowledge will be Gyan said,
“Tanko is part of the team and he is a great guy. He’s got an eye for the game and so any information he brings to the fore, we will abide by it and follow suit and try to execute it on the field of play and so that is what we will be banking on. We will be working as a team and Ibrahim has seen it all, he’s been there before and so any advice from him will be like an added bonus to us and could come in handy”.
Ghana meet Cameroon on Thursday with a place in the final up for grabs. The other semifinal game between Burkina Faso and Egypt will be played later today with the winners in both games set to battle it out for the ultimate in the finale on Sunday.