Sports News of Monday, 23 January 2017
Coach Avram Grant says the pumpy pitch at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon is preventing his talented team to put up convincing second-half display at the tournament.
The Israeli hailed the manner of Ghana’s 1-0 win over Mali that put them in the quarter-finals, even though they had to hold on in the second half.
This is similar to what happened in the first game as they struggled to dominate Uganda in the second-half after bossing the first-half of the 1-0 win.
Grant thinks the nature of the bumpy pitches makes its difficult to suit the style of play of his in the second half.
“We dominated the game completely in the first half,” he said.
“Then Mali played direct and we needed to fight.
“On this pitch it was very difficult to counter-attack and passes went astray.
“In the first half we played good football and in the second half we played mature football.”
Ghana face Egypt in their final match on Wednesday and a draw will ensure they finish top of the table.
Mali still have a chance to qualify if they beat Uganda, also on Wednesday, but they would also need Egypt to lose to Ghana and it would then come down to goal difference.