Black Stars To Take On Egypt By Their Horns

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The Black Stars of Ghana are taking match after match at the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon with marvelous first half “Agoro displays” and soaking pressure from the opponents to win in style.

They did it to the Cranes of Uganda and the Eagles of Mali in the first two games and although, they have qualified, want to remain with a clean sheet and attain the maximum nine points.
Matches between Ghana and Egypt have always been interesting with some sense of drama, pride, ego, prestige, status and form.

Egypt have won the Africa Cup seven times, and Ghanaians envy that very much, because Egypt was no-where when Ghana won their third cup for keeps in 1978.

Now, after almost 35 years, The Pharaohs have made it seven and the Black Stars, known to play the best of fine football on the continent hang on their four triumphs.

The last time the two ex-champions met, the Pharaohs carried the day in the 2018 World Cup by 2-0 in Alexandria. This has cushioned the path of Egypt to the FIFA World Cup, Russia 2018, but some members of the Ghana Football Association believe the World Cup Qualifiers is not yet over.

The Pharaohs cannot forget the 6-1 defeat they suffered at the Kumasi Sports Stadium before the 2014 Brazil World Cup, and they is where Asamaoah Gyan and his colleagues draw inspiration from to beat Egypt in Gabon on Wednesday to stay on top of Group D and still play at the familiar Port Gentil Stadium.

Asamah Gyan, captain of the senior national team has stated categorically in the buildup ahead of the team’s last group game against the Pharaohs of Egypt on Wednesday 25th January at the Stade Blanc in Port-Gentil that, they are in for a revenge against the Pharaohs.

Gyan on Monday afternoon during the official press conference ahead of the game, said they still have fifty (50%) of the team that played against the Pharaohs in Angola 2010, so they will come out for on Wednesday night and do everything possible to win and top the group.

The Black Stars needs a possible win against the Egyptians to top group D in order to avoid travelling to Oyem but are on top of the group with 6 points after beating Uganda and Mali.

Meanwhile, the Black Stars have agreed to collect $5,000 as winning bonus, and this has excited some fans who feel the players are being paid too much. They say the new sum is okay and can also motivate them.
However, the players claim they are not motivated by money. Rather, they want to make name for themselves by winning the tournament and be remembered in African Football history.

Striker Asamoah Gyan said, they are rich so the bonus is nothing for them, instead they want to win to break the near 35 years’ jinx.

Schemer Christian Atsu feels they are ready after the experiences from 2010. He noted that they will go on to win and grab the cup, by the Grace of God, who is driving them home with the trophy this time.
Defender Harrison Afful said the pitch which people claim not good enough is not their bother, instead, they are concentrated to go all out to the final.

Coach Avram Grant who has been impressed by the performance of the team said they are playing according to their philosophy and improving after every match. He labeled injured Baba Rahman as the best left full back in Africa, with the Black Stars as the best team who can soak pressure but opponents cannot bear their pressure and matured game of soccer artistry known in Ghana as “Agoro Football”.

By Sammy Heywood Okine

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