Black Stars head coach Avram Grant has expressed his delight at the team’s passage to the quarter-final of the ongoing 2017 African Cup of Nations in Gabon.

Ghana’s progress was sealed with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Mali at the Port Gentil Stadium on Saturday thanks to a header from captain Asamoah Gyan in the 21st minute.


Speaking after the match to the media, Grant commended the players and said that he was glad they had managed to get to the quarter finals.

“I am very happy about the game today and I do not want to look at the negatives of the performance but ff course, we always seek to improve. In the first half, we dominated but in the second half, Mali put some pressure on us and the players decided to retreat.

However, that was not part of our plan. On the contrary, we really wanted to play on the front foot but sometimes in tournaments, players want to play that way and get the points and I think they did it well.

The Israeli shared his thoughts on the team’s defensive work and he also explained that he chose not to combat the height advantage the Malians possessed despite the consternation that came from the fans in the stands.

He added: ” I think it was important that we got the 6 points and we kept the clean sheets. Our players have not played that much in the six months or so but we have our key player improving match after match. Today, Gyan scored and he was assisted by Jordan Ayew.

Frank Acheampong replaced Baba Rahman and that was a tough choice for me because they (Mali) had a tall player on him but we decided to stick to our plan and our players did well.”

Ghana will face Egypt in the group’s final match on January 25 at the Port Gentil Stadium.

By: Nathan Quao/

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