Friday 3 February 2017

Black Stars of Ghana aiming for redemption

The Black Stars of Ghana are out to restore their pride and finish as No 3 in the 2017 CAF Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon when they meet Burkina Faso on Saturday at Stade de Port-Gentil. Kick-Off is at 9pm.

Avram Grant will now ensure his team is refreshed for the third/fourth place tie and they have to put their disappointment in losing the semifinal 2-0 to Cameroon on Thursday behind them.

Although they dominated parts of the game against the Indomitable Lions, their failure to finish in front of goal was their let down.

The Black Stars have been labelled as favourites to lift the coveted trophy, but will now have to fight harder to finish as bronze winners.

Having started their Group C campaign on a high with two wins, they failed to finish as winners as they lost to finalists Egypt in their last group match.

However, Grant led his side to a decent run as they beat Democratic Republic of Congo in the quarterfinals, raising their hopes for a final spot.

Against Hugo Broos' men, Ghana failed to ignite as they missed many chances to grab the lead, allowing the Indomitable Lions to clinch a 2-0 win.

Looking at Burkina Faso, the Stallions are also hungry for a third-place finish and will now hope to continue doing well in Gabon.

Coming from a penalty shootout loss against Hector Cuper's Egypt in the semifinals, Burkina Faso will hope to stun the Ghanaians.

Under the guidance of coach Paulo Duarte, the Stallions have defied all odds and managed to progress through to the last eight of the tournament.

In the group stages, the Stallions won Group A with five points from three matches, they went on to beat Tunisia 2-0 in the quarterfinal before losing to Egypt in the last eight.

Having done so, they have built a giant-killing reputation which will push Ghana to remain vigilant and expect surprises.

Striker Aristide Bance has been a great revelation for the team, together with skipper Charles Kabore and Prejuce Nakoulma.

In the wake of their loss to the Pharaohs, midfielder Razack Traore admitted that the result was painful,but said they win and lose as a team.

“They missed the penalties but it is like we all missed the penalties," Traore told the media.

"We lose together and we win. It is the team that missed the penalty.

“We are really disappointed, because we played good football. We tried everything today but that is football.”

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