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Early AFCON exit looms for Ghana

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Four-time Africa Cup winners, Black Stars of Ghana will have to be at their best elements as they play their last group match, facing debutants, Comoros in Nigeria’s ‘home’ Garoua.

In a tournament that has featured a flurry of upsets, Ghana cannot take things for granted.

This is more so because they are yet to win a single match and risks being the first among the nine World Cup play-off teams to be eliminated from the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ghana who last won the tournament 40 years ago in Libya have not been impressive in the ongoing tournament as they conceded damaging late minute goals that have put their aspirations in jeopardy.

In the obtainable six points, Ghana have just one after their last match was drawn with Gabon.

Late goal in their opening match with Morocco saw them losing all three points.

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Ghana’s coach, Milovan Rajevac knows the importance of the match and possible upsets from minnows like Comoros.

“It’s a very important game for us. We need to finish the group with a win and will do everything to guarantee this happening. Our team develops well but we need time and patience”, said the coach.

Defender, Jonathan Mensah spoke in similar vein. “We will give our best because this is a must win for us. We have no internal problems. All the games are difficult. As a veteran player my role is to help the new faces. We will fight for our national jersey.”

Despite losing their two opening games, 1-0 to Gabon and 2-0 to Morocco, Comoros had gained the respect of everyone at the ongoing  Africa Cup of Nations.

Showing passion and determination at their very first AFCON appearance, Comoros had a lot to gain even if they haven’t won or scored to the moment. Against Ghana, they will fight for more and why not record their maiden points and goals in the history of the tournament.

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According to their coach, Amir Abdou “the game is very important for us. We had two good games against Gabon and Morocco, but luck was not on our side. I told the players to consider this as if it was the final.

“Ghana is a very good team, but we will do our best. We have nothing to lose, and we must be strong and brave.”

The optimism of the coach is shared by Said Bakari, a striker.

“We will give our all. We need to play more competitions like this and increase our experience. This is the greatest event we have been to. We will show the good side of Comoros.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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