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Football | Afcon

Richard Kissi Boateng © Backpagepix

Ghana ring changes for Mali clash



Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah has made two changes three changes to starting line-up to face Mali in the Afcon third-place playoff on Saturday.

Defenders Richard Kissi Boateng and Awal Mohammed will make their debuts in the competition in the match to determine which team finishes third.

Solomon Asante, who was impressive as a substitute during Wednesday's semifinal match against Burkina Faso, will also get his first start of the tournament.

Italy-based midfielder Emmanuel Agyemang Badu is a starting team casualty after failing to impress in the last two matches in the competition.

Injury to John Pantsil and Rabiu Mohammed's suspension means coach Kwesi Appiah has named players to replace them.

Harrison Afful has been moved to take Pantsil's right-back position while Afful's left-back place in the starting line-up will be taken by Berekum Chelsea star Kissi.

Isaac Vorsah and John Boye will play in the heart of the defence with Maritzburg United defender Awal deployed as the defensive midfielder.

Asante will play on the right wing with Mubarak Wakaso playing in the opposite direction with Christian Atsu and Kwadwo Asamoah playing just behind lone striker Asamoah Gyan.

Ghana coach Appiah is hoping the players selected for the match will help the Black Stars finish third after the disappointment of being eliminated by Burkina Faso.

Burkina Faso surprisingly eliminated Ghana on Wednesday, winning their semifinal in Nelspruit 3-2 on penalties after the encounter had finished locked at 1-1 which means the Black Stars are still chasing their first title since 1982.

"It's a long time – 31 years – since we last won the cup," Appiah said.

"I took over the position around 10 months ago and coming into this competition I came in with 11 players who have never played in this competition before. I'm trying to build a new team for the nation.

"For me, they did very well in getting to the semifinals. Our main aim was of course to win it. Unfortunately, when it comes to penalties anything can happen."

Ghana starting line up:

Fatau Dauda, Harrison Afful, Richard Kissi Boateng, John Boye, Isaac Vorsah, Awal Mohammed, Solomon Asante, Kwadwo Asamoah, Asamoah Gyan, Mubarak Wakaso, Christian Atsu

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