Fit Gyan to face Ivory Coast in final

Ghana star Asamoah Gyan has recovered from a hip injury and will face Ivory Coast later Sunday in the Africa Cup of Nations final in Bata, officials said.

The striker was injured when fouled by Guinea goalkeeper Naby Yattara in a 3-0 quarter-final triumph last weekend.

He was among the substitutes as Ghana overwhelmed hosts Equatorial Guinea 3-0 in a midweek semi-final, but not used.

Gyan replaces semi-final scorer Jordan Ayew in a team otherwise unchanged from that which started against Equatorial Guinea.


Ghana: Razak Braimah; Harrison Afful, John Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Abdul Rahman Baba; Christian Atsu, Afriyie Acquah, Mubarak Wakaso, Andre Ayew; Kwesi Appiah, Asamoah Gyan (capt)

Coach: Avram Grant (ISR)

Ivory Coast: Boubacar Barry; Eric Bailly, Serge Wilfried Kanon, Kolo Toure; Serge Aurier, Yaya Toure (capt), Serey Die, Siaka Tiene; Gervinho, Wilfried Bony, Max-Alain Gradel

Coach: Herve Renard (FRA)

Photo Credits : AFP

Ghana coach Grant unsure on Gyan fitness for final

Ghana coach Avram Grant is unsure whether injured skipper Asamoah Gyan will be fit for Sunday’s Africa Cup of Nations final against Ivory Coast in Bata.

Gyan is nursing a pelvic injury received during a collision with Guinea goalkeeper Naby Yattara in the quarter-finals last Sunday and he missed stormy Thursday’s semi-final win over hosts Equatorial Guinea.

Former Chelsea manager Grant said the Black Stars did not train in Bata Friday so he could not assess Gyan’s recovery.

“We can’t say how he is because we could not even train (in Bata),” lamented Grant.

However, the coach said the Black Stars are motivated to rewrite history against the Ivory Coast on Sunday after losing the 1992 final to their west African neighbours on penalties in Dakar.

“They are very motivated, they do not need any speeches because we have come a long way as nobody gave us a chance. They will show this on Sunday,” he promised.

“We have improved with every game. Algeria and Senegal were considered better than us and this was a challenge for us.

“There is one more challenge — the last one in this tournament.

“They (Ghana) know how to fight and play football.”

Stand-in Ghana skipper and midfielder Andre Ayew said inexperience cost the team the 2010 Nations Cup final, which they lost 1-0 to Egypt in Luanda.

“For the 2010 final, we had about 14 players from the U20 World Cup (of the previous year). In that final we were attacking and attacking, but we couldn’t score. We lacked experience,” he recalled.

“But Sunday’s final will be a good one for us. When you get to the final, you need to do everything to win.”

The 25-year-old forward has shone at this competition, scoring three goals. He attributes this to confidence boosts from his team-mates and the coach.

“I have tried to raise my game because I have been given responsibilities both on and off the pitch. It is due to the group and the confidence from the coach,” he said.

Photo Credits : AFP

Ghana act over Gyan hip injury

Ghana star Asamoah Gyan arrived in the Equatorial Guinea town of Mongomo Monday to check the extent of a hip injury ahead of an African Cup of Nations semi-final with the hosts.

A Ghanaian official confirmed that the 29-year-old striker and captain of the Black Stars flew from capital Malabo to the eastern town because the hospital there can perform MRI scans.

United Arab Emirates-based Gyan injured his hip Sunday after being fouled deep in stoppage time by Guinea goalkeeper Naby Yattara, who was red-carded for the offence.

Gyan missed the opening group game against Senegal in mid-January owing to a mild bout of malaria, then struck a stoppage-time winner past Algeria four days later.

He did not score in the victory over South Africa that secured Ghana top place in Group C, nor did he find the net in a three-goal quarter-final humbling of Guinea.

Ghana face giant-killers Equatorial Guinea in Malabo Thursday — 24 hours after the first semi-final in port city Bata pits the Democratic Republic of Congo against Ivory Coast.

Photo Credits : AFP