Sports News of Wednesday, 12 July 2017
The striker says he has rescinded his decision to be excused from Black Stars penalties within normal time.
It was pretty unusual, judging by events of the last five years, as Asamoah Gyan stepped up for Ghana’s penalty in the 2-1 friendly defeat to the USA earlier this month.
Following a series of crucial misses in national colours, the new Kayserispor striker, in 2012, announced his decision to stay away from spot-kicks during regulation time due to the resultant backlash of his failed efforts.
But after taking to the spot against the USA in Hartford, the Ghana captain says he has now availed himself for regular penalty duties.
“Definitely [I’m back to normal penalty duties] because in my football career, this is the only challenge for me right now,” Gyan said on GTV.
“I think I have had a good career. I’ve had a successful career. Everything that I want in the game, I’ve got it, so this is the only challenge that I need to erase and I know I’m gonna do it.
“I think it’s confirmed now, it’s official.
“Right now, Andre [Ayew] is scoring. Andre is the first penalty taker of the team and he knows that I can take, so we have to decide on the field.
“But right now, I have to erase that thing, people might disagree but we will iee.
“It is something that we need to learn. As I always say, I am strong mentally. I need to just step up.
“In the American game, I wanted to break that jinx and it didn’t work out. It doesn’t mean I am done because I know how to do it.”
At the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa, Gyan spurned a last-gasp penalty against Uruguay which could have made Ghana the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the global showpiece.
That was after he had missed an earlier kick against the Czech Republic at the 2006 gathering although an earlier goal in that game, coupled with Ghana’s 2-0 win, spared his blushes.
After wasting another effort in the Black Stars’ defeat to Zambia at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the 31-year-old announced his decision to be excused from penalties during normal time.