(William D. Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent, Malabo, E. Guinea, courtesy, uniBank Ghana Limited)
Malabo, E. Guinea, Feb 4, GNA – Ghana will make her first fifth successive semi-final appearance in the Africa Cup of Nation with a mission to break the jinx that has ended their dreams at the edge of the finals.
Apart from Angola 2010 where the team made it into the finals, the Black Stars have since Gabon-Equatorial Guinea, through to South Africa 2013 as well as Ghana 2008, failed to move beyond the semi-finals.
Ghana will be going into the game without key man Asamoah Gyan, who has been ruled out, following a violent tackle visited on him by Guinean goalie Nabby Yattara in the quarter final game. From all indications, Coach Avram Grant will be relying on Kwesi Appiah and Jordan Ayew as his lead men in the game against the vociferous central African side who are bent on continuing with their fairy tale run in the competition.
In midfield, Grant is likely to maintain his pair of Mubarak Wakaso and hard tackling Afriyie Acquah with Andre Ayew and Christian Atsu operating on the wings of midfield, whilst John Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Harrison Afful and Baba Abdul Rahman remains in the defensive network.
Though Ghana seem to be favourites taking into consideration her rich experience in the competition, coupled with experienced players who have tasted World Cup, they will have a very youthful and enthusiastic Equatorial Guinean side to contend with.
For Nzalang Nacionals of Equatorial Guinea, reaching the semi-finals is a dream come true and beating Ghana will definitely be the icing on the cake, but this will come at a great cost as stated by their key player Emilio Nsue Lopez.
“In my heart of hearts I dream of winning the Africa Cup of Nations and would love to do it this year but we know that we are a small team and there are tough teams so we will take it game by game and see if we can achieve the dream.
“We believe we can win the cup but we also know that it’s very difficult because there are lots of good and tough teams but like I said before, we will go game by game,” the 25-year old Equatorial Guinea skipper said in an interview.
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