Get breaking news alerts from myKhel

Notification Settings X
Time Settings
Done
Clear Notification X
Do you want to clear all the notifications from your inbox?
Settings X

Ghana v Benin: Black Stars present united front before opener

Asamoah Gyan

Cairo, June 25: Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah believes the team's captaincy issue is behind them, believing they are now well prepared for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Black Stars begin their campaign against Benin on Tuesday, but their build-up to the tournament was marred by Asamoah Gyan's retirement, a decision he backtracked on, as he was removed as captain.

Andre Ayew was instead named skipper, with the returning Gyan given the role of 'general captain'.

But Appiah insists there is unity within his Ghana team.

"The captaincy is nothing," he said, appearing alongside Ayew. "The most important thing is to have unity in camp.

"I think this is the best camp I have ever witnessed in my six or eight camps with the national team."

Benin have never been past the group stage of an AFCON tournament, while Ghana are four-time winners, yet Appiah says there will be no complacency from his side.

"Modern football has changed and there is no way you can under-rate any team and every team is pushing," he said. "But I believe in my players.

"I have full confidence in them and I know they will deliver.

"All the teams in our group are strong but the most important thing is preparing well to face them and that's what we have done."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Ghana - Christian Atsu

Newcastle United winger Atsu was the player of the tournament as Ghana reached the final in 2015 and, although he did not find the net at all two years later, he will again be tasked with providing the team's creative spark in Egypt.

Benin - Steve Mounie

A tough second season in the Premier League saw Mounie and Huddersfield Town relegated, but he remains one of the more recognisable names in the Benin team. Often wasteful at club level, he will have to take any chances that come his way on Tuesday.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- This is the first encounter between Ghana and Benin in the Africa Cup of Nations. - This is Ghana's 22nd AFCON participation, a tally only bettered by Egypt (24) and Ivory Coast (23). - Ghana won four of their first seven AFCON tournaments (1963, 1965, 1978, 1982) but have won none of their subsequent 14. They are also the only team to have reached the semi-finals in each of the last six African Cup of Nations. - Benin have lost 89 per cent of their AFCON games (eight out of nine), the highest losing ratio of any team to have taken part in more than one tournament. In fact, only Mozambique (12) have played more games than Benin (nine) at the AFCON without winning a single one. - Since 2010, Andre Ayew has played more minutes (1990) and scored more goals (eight) than any other player in the Africa Cup of Nations.

For Quick Alerts
Subscribe Now
For Quick Alerts
ALLOW NOTIFICATIONS
For Daily Alerts

Read more about: ghana football preview asamoah gyan
Story first published: Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 0:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 25, 2019
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. This includes cookies from third party social media websites and ad networks. Such third party cookies may track your use on Mykhel sites for better rendering. Our partners use cookies to ensure we show you advertising that is relevant to you. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on Mykhel website. However, you can change your cookie settings at any time. Learn more