Sports News of Thursday, 5 February 2015
Ghana have left out striker Asamoah Gyan from their starting line-up to face Equatorial Guinea on Thursday night in the semi-final of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with Jordan Ayew replacing the injured captain.
The exclusion of Asamoah Gyan was the only change coach Avram Grant made in the Black Stars starting team to face Nzalang Nacional in Malabo for a place in the final of the competition.
The Black Stars skipper suffered an abdominal injury after Guinean goalkeeper Naby Yattara stamped him in the dying minutes of the quarter-finals match between the two sides last Sunday.
Ghana hoped doctors will work on Gyan to recover in time for the match in Malabo, but it is clear that he will not be available after failing to recover in time for the match.
This means Jordan Ayew will partner the impressive Kwesi Appiah in attack in the absence of Gyan while replying on the same players who dispatched Guinea with aplomb in the quarter-finals by thrashing them 3-0.
Goalkeeper Razak Brimah maintains his place in the post while the ever reliable Harrison Afful and talented youngster Baba Abdul Rahman will play at the right and left backs respectively.
Jonathan Mensah and John Boye will be maintained at the heart of defence even though Daniel Amartey has recovered from his injury.
Tough fighters Mubarak Wakaso and Afriyie Acquah will play in the heart of midfield as they are expected to break down the attack of the opponents while providing passes for strikers Jordan and Appiah in the typical 4-4-2 formation.
Andre Ayew, who will captain the side will play from the left wing while skillful Christian Atsu will play from the right wing.
These players were in blistering form for the Black Stars when they defeated Guinea on Sunday and they are expected to repeat the dose on the Equatoguineans.
BLACK STARS STARTING TEAM:
Razak Brimah, Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye, Mubarak Wakaso, Afriyie Acquah, Andre Ayew, Christian Atsu, Jordan Ayew, Kwesi Appiah