AFCON 2013: Niger v Ghana Preview

By IndepthAfrica
In 2013 Africa Cup of Nations
Jan 28th, 2013
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Ghana's Kwado Asamoah (right) celebrates his goal against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ghana’s Kwado Asamoah (right) celebrates his goal against the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Ghana are in pole position to finish top of Group B and stay on in Port Elizabeth for the start of the knock-out round.

The Black Stars start the last set of group games with four points, one ahead of Mali and two ahead of the DR Congo.

It means a draw will be enough to take them into the last eight while a win ensures they top the standings.

Mubarak Wakaso, who is suspended and injured, misses out while Richmond Boakye and Anthony Annan are doubtful.

A win over Niger, who gained their first-ever Nations Cup point in their last match on Thursday, will ensure they avoid a quarter-final meeting with hosts South Africa and instead take on the Cape Verde on Saturday.

But Niger, who are participating at only their second finals, are also still in with a chance if they continue the run of upsets at the tournament and beat the Black Stars at Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

The Menas have no injury worries.

Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan:

“I didn’t know much about them until I saw their first game against Mali.

“They are a very organised team and they fight – I think they can cause harm to us but we aren’t looking at that. We are Ghanaians and we are looking forward to a win.

“So it’s not going to be easy but we’ll be trying our hardest to get a maximum three points and qualify for the next stage.”

Niger coach Gernot Rohr:

“For the motivation it [playing Ghana] is wonderful. We are a little country of football and we are playing against a big country of football – so we will have a beautiful game.

“We had a lot of chances to score a goal, we could have beaten DR Congo – now we hope that against Ghana we will play a good game.

“I’ve seen that the crowd [in Port Elizabeth] was with us and it was a good atmosphere in the stadium and I hope my players will do the same against Ghana.”BBC

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