Black Stars striker Asamoah Gyan has given a firm assurance that he would lead the team to victory over their Sudanese counterparts in this evening’s 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier in Omdurman.
The striker made the pledge last Wednesday when Youth and Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, and diplomat Alan Kyeremateng visited the Black Stars at their training camp in Ethiopia, with the striker insisting that they would not disappoint Ghanaians as the country seeks to make a third successive appearance at the global tournament.
“We have been getting lots of encouragement and support from Ghanaians ahead of key matches like Friday’s game against The Sudan,” Gyan said.
“In football players need inspiration and efforts like this inspire us the players a lot.
“The most important thing for us are the two matches we will play over the next few days. I want to assure Ghanaians that we will get the victory needed.”
The Stars could take a temporary charge at the summit of Group D if they beat the Nile Crocodiles at the Al-Merreikh Stadium tonight.
Coach Kwasi Appiah’s team ride on a first leg 4-0 win at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi but trail group leaders, Zambia, who play Lesotho tomorrow. Ghana and Zambia are separated by a point after the southern African country benefited from a recent protest against Sudan.
But Coach Appiah and his charges are upbeat about registering a respectable win in Sudan and enhancing their chances of a third successive World Cup appearance with a victory over Lesotho next week.
He understands the task ahead and his personal ambition of becoming Ghana’s first indigenous coach to take the team to the Mundial. That motivation and FIFA’s recent ranking that place the country ahead of Brazil has may just be the tonic to push the boys to do the nation proud.
Ghana is currently ranked 21st in the world and second in Africa but the Stars are aware that rankings do not play football and are ready to rise up to the challenge.
Tonight’s challenge in the war-ravaged Sudan could be the main decider for the Stars because a defeat could effectively end Ghana’s dream.
Morale in camp is said to be high following the arrival of Sports Minister, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, in The Sudan.
The minister is reported to have delivered goodwill messages from the president and the good people of Ghana, urging them to go for the kill.
• Stars probable line up: Fatau Dauda (AshantiGold, Ghana), Harrison Afful (Esperance, Tunisia), Samuel Inkoom (Bastia, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian, France), John Boye (Rennes, France), Rabiu Mohammed (Evian, France), Albert Adomah (Bristol City, England), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese, Italy), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain, UAE), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus, Italy) Sulley Muntari (AC Milan, Italy).