Sports News of Monday, 23 January 2017
Black Stars striker Jordan Ayew has touted the greatness of Asamoah Gyan, describing his captain as a legend who deserved every support to cement his legendary status and pledging that he is ready to play alongside for collective team success.
The youngster said he was not worried for his lack of goals at the tournament so long as Gyan’s presence loomed large to ensure victory just as it happened last Saturday when the Al Ahli Dubai striker scored Ghana’s only and winning goal in the team’s 1-0 victory over Mali in Port-Gentil at the ongoing African Cup of Nations (AFCON).
Last Saturday, Jordan lifted his game and gave an important assist which Gyan headed home to secure the team’s qualification to the quarter-final stage of the AFCON, as well as cut a piece of football history.
Gyan’s 21st minute goal made him the first and only player to score in six consecutive Nations Cup tournaments since 2008, and Ghana’s all-time leading goal scorer in Nations Cup history with eight goals, one more than his deputy captain Andre Ayew, who scored the Stars’ winning goal against Uganda last week Tuesday.
Gyan’s 49th international goal pleased the younger of the Ayew brothers who told the media he was just happy to have executed his job.
“My job as a striker is to either score goals or to give an assist, so if I give an assist it’s a good thing for me and the team because we have qualified today and we are happy. We hope to continue like that.
“I’m not worried because I have a legend in front; that’s Asamoah Gyan. So I have to work for him and let him score goals.”
The youngster, who is playing in his third AFCON tournament after featuring in 2012 and 2015, says he is in no rush for prominence in the team and would rather bid his time.
The youngster is already looking ahead to Wednesday’s clash with Egypt and says the team’s appetite for victory will not be affected by the fact that they have already qualified for the next round.
“The most important thing is to win and get our confidence back. We always want to win and we’ll do our best to win against Egypt.”
That they have qualified ahead of their clash with the Pharaohs would calm their nerves in their bid to ensure a 100 per cent record in group D.
“It’s always better to win the two games so we can relax and concentrate on the next game,” said the Aston Villa player who maintains it is better to play smart and achieve the right results than to play delightful football which might not be positive in the end, in reaction to criticisms that the Stars play a good first half, but are left to struggle to contain their opponents after recess.
“In football, we don’t talk about who had the greatest possession. The statistics are not the most important. It is about who won the game.
“If we go back to the last two AFCON finals we played (2010 and 2015), we lost to Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire but in possession we were better than them but they won at the end of the day.
“We have a winning mentality which is better and we must continue doing that,” insisted the Aston Villa forward.