Soccer News of Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Cambridge United loanee Kwesi Appiah has spoken about the just ended Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Equatorial Guinea where he helped the Black Stars to place second.
Appiah who is owned by Crystal Palace won the fair play award of the tournament as Ghana lost to old foes Ivory Coast in the finals.
“It was pretty surreal, to be honest,” said Appiah in the Cambridge News. “It was a dream of mine to play for Ghana, so having gone to an Africa Cup of Nations with the squad is unbelievable.
“Once I got out there it started to sink in, but to start with it was a bit like, ‘wow, this is happening’.
“It wasn’t my team-mates that it took a while to get used to, it was more the condition of the pitches that was the initial problem. I had to adjust to the weather conditions, but the players were all cool and to play with quality players makes life easier.
“It couldn’t have gone much better for me. I made my debut against South Africa and then started and scored in the quarter-final, so it was massive.”
“Before all the trouble you could feel it was different to the other games,” said Appiah. “It was against the hosts and you could feel the different intensity from the beginning.
“We didn’t really make much of it (the crowd trouble) at the time in terms of disturbing our game. It was more afterwards that you realised what had happened and that it was more serious than you’d thought, but at the time we had to focus on our game.
“I made my contribution in the semi-final and we got through to the final, which was wicked.
“The excitement started as soon as we finished the semi-final, and playing against Ivory Coast made it an even bigger occasion because of the talented players they’ve got.”
He added: “It’s taken a while to accept we lost and got the silver medal – the satisfaction wasn’t there straight away because you’ve lost a final and you’re annoyed you’ve not got the gold.
“Once it sinks in, you think about how far you’ve come and the final was a tight game. Losing on penalties was disappointing, but that’s football.”