For Michael Essien, Ghana’s double victories over Mali and Sudan in the qualifying for the joint 2010 African Nations Cup and World Cup competitions is best dedicated to Stephen Appiah and all the other players who missed both matches.
Stephen Appiah and a host of other players missed out of both games but Michael Essien says the entire team is encouraged by the support given them by the captain and colleagues.
Ghana has recorded two successive away wins in the busy month of June in the qualifying series over a 13-day period to boost their chances of reaching the double soccer fiesta next year on the continent.
Essien told his personal website after Saturday’s game that they (players) were pleased to have come out winners in both away matches.
“We have had a really good start to our World Cup campaign and we are all happy about that. We definitely want to be at the African Cup and World Cup next year and we will be making sure we do that once the qualifiers start again in September.
“These were two difficult games but we showed that we are a tough team as well and we are happy with the wins,” the Ghana midfielder said.
Essien adds that the rest of the squad are proud to share with Appiah and the other players Ghana’s amazing performances.
“I will personally like to dedicate these wins to our beloved captain Stephen 'StepApp' Appiah. He is going through a tough time at the moment with is football and family and I hope he enjoys these wins with us.
“He is our inspiration without a doubt and he is always supportive. He has been on the phone to us since we got together for the Mali and Sudan games and has been urging us to stay strong for both wins.
“We love you captain StepApp and can’t wait for you to join us soon. We are all behind you and will like to dedicate our success to you and all the other Black Stars players who couldn’t join us,” Essien said.
The victory over Sudan inched Ghana closer to their dream of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and Nations Cup finals next year.
Ghana have 9 points from three matches in Group D as the qualifiers resume in September.