Soccer News of Wednesday, 28 January 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Coach Avram Grant has described yesterday’s 2-1 win against South Africa in their final Group C game as ‘tough, but delivered with great effort,’ while captain Asamoah Gyan described it as ‘tough, but sweet victory.’
The Stars, yet again left it late to secure their qualification coming from behind to beat Bafana Bafana 2-1 with goals from John Boye and Andre Dede Ayew in the 73rd and 83rd minutes after they had fallen behind on the 17th minute.
And at the post match press conference, Grant, who surprisingly wore a smile of relief, admitted it was quite worrying, but his men proved their fighting spirit to earn the victory.
“Being in that position for such a long time when nothing seem to work in our pursuit of goal was quite frustrating, but I’m satisfied that did not frustrate the players as they kept their cool and eventually delivered what was expected of them.
“It was tough, but also a result delivered with great team effort,” Grant said. Gyan also admitted it was his toughest game at any AFCON tournament, since his debut in 2006, but was glad they were able to do what was most important.
“I said prior to this game that it was going to be a match of mental toughness and it ended up being just that. Any side, badly needing. win but conceding that early goal could have been frustrated and cave in, but every player in white shirt on the pitch refused to give up and the reward for that is the sweet victory,” the captain, who revived Ghana’s hope with his lone goal win against Algeria in the second game, but was tightly kept under check in yesterday’s game, said with a broad smile.
He could even make a joke out of the light rains that followed after the game, saying it was “showers of blessing and divine approval of their qualification.”
With victory delivered and finishing on top of Group C with Algeria in second place, the Stars now take deserved break to get back into action with the quarter-final game against the qualifiers from Group D.