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Ghana lock horns with Egypt in Africa Cup of Nations Thursday evening

2 months ago
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’'We know the responsibility on our shoulders, the players are committed; we have to do it the hard way by showing hunger and determination’’ echoed by forward Jordan Ayew at a pre-match press conference on Wednesday.

 

His words distil the amount of work that must to go into their game against seven-time champions Egypt on Thursday. The Crystal Palace forward is one of the experienced players in Chris Hughton’s side at the Africa Cup of Nations in Cote D’Ivoire. Jordan Ayew started in the game against Cape Verde but was later taken off in the 2-1 loss.

The defeat has heightened the level apprehension among Ghanaian football fans across the world – as doubts about the potency of the team linger on.

Regardless of the growing pessimism, Coach Chris Hughton remains optimistic about our chances.

‘’We know there is no easy game in the African game and we have a lot of respect for a team in the stature of Egypt with good pedigree, amazing records and world class players with a very good level of football.

‘’We have to be at our best to come out with a win and that is what we are committed to’’

Ghana aims to get their campaign back on track following the loss to Cape Verde on Sunday. The disappointment of Cameroon 2021 has ignited a deep-seated desire among players and staff to right the wrongs.

The Black Stars failed to win a single game at the last edition in Cameroon - as they lost 1-0 to Morocco, drew 1-1 with Gabon and fell 3-2 to Comoros.

A win against Egypt on Thursday, will put Ghana in a good position to qualify from group. The presence of captain Andre Ayew, Daniel Amartey, Richard Ofori and Jordan Ayew will prove useful this time – as the quartet were part of the Ghana squad that finished second at the 2015 edition in Equatorial Guinea where the Black Stars lost to Senegal in the opening game but rallied back to beat Algeria in the second game and went all the way to the final.

Ghana has not lost a second group game in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations since 1998 when we lost to Togo following a late winner from Abdel-Kader Coubadjah in Burkina Faso.

Egypt pip Ghana 1-0 in Luanda, the last time the two countries crossed swords in the Africa Cup of Nations final. Mohammed Gedo Nagy climbed off the bench to score the winner in the 85th minute to give the Pharaohs a third consecutive Africa Cup of Nations trophy in Angola 2010.

The North Africans again beat Ghana 1-0 in a group D decider in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon – with Mohammed Salah netting the decisive goal to give his side all the points.

While Egypt needed a late penalty from Mohammed Salah to draw 2-2 with Mozambique, Ghana conceded late to lose 2-1 to Cape Verde in Abidjan.

Both sides need the points to save their campaign but Ghana goes into the game badly bruised and wounded following their unimpressive performances in recent tournaments. Chris Hughton and his players have a lot to prove to the world on Thursday.

The 20:00Hrs kick off game is scheduled for stade Felix Houphouët-Boigny in Abidjan.

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