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Football | Afcon

Asamoah Gyan © Backpagepix

Gyan relishing Afcon challenge



Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan says he is looking forward to giving his best for the Black Stars at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations despite his ups and downs with the national team.

The 27-year-old took a break away from the Black Stars following their 1-0 loss to Zambia in the semifinals of the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, a match in which he missed a penalty kick.

During the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa he also missed a late penalty which would’ve seen Ghana beating Uruguay to become the first African nation to reach the semifinals.

However, he says he has put those low moments behind him and is now fully-focused on the responsibility of leading his side as they look to end their long wait for silverware.

“I have had some wonderful moments playing for my country both at the World Cup and AFCON,” he said.

“When things go wrong some fans react badly with threats on my life. This is not football.”

With four titles to their name, Ghana are one of the most successful countries on the African continent, and although they have not tasted victory since 1982, Gyan believes they are still amongst the firm favourites.

“Ghana, Ivory Coast, Zambia are the favourites,” said the Al-Ain striker.

“Zambia were lucky to have won the last time and they will find it extremely difficult to retain it. I expect the competition to be full of surprises.”

Kwesi Appiah’s side will start their campaign in Group B alongside Mali, Niger and DR Congo, but Gyan says they have what it takes to go all the way this time around, despite the tough competition.

“We are confident that we have the qualities to break the jinx but we must respect our opponents who are also coming with similar ambitions,” he said.

“There are no easy teams in Africa today. We have always struggled to beat DR Congo, Mali beat us 2-0 the last time we met this year and Niger were tough in qualifying. We won’t underrate any team.”

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