Yaounde, Cameroon,- The Black Stars of Ghana will slug it out with the Panthers of Gabon in a make-or-break encounter in their second African Cup of Nations (AFCON) game, hoping to grab their first win in Group C.
Ghana lost her first match 1-0 against the North African side, Morocco last Monday and have targeted go all out to beat Gabon on Friday, evening at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde.
It would be a crunchy duel facing a side that beat Comoros by a lone goal in their opening match to top the group, however, the Panthers have a herculean task to surmount against a hungry side that is eager for victory to enable their qualification to the round 16 stage.
On Friday, a win for the Black Stars is all the team needs and the Coach, Milovan Rajevac and captain Andre Dede Ayew have assured Ghanaians the team would shine, qualify from the group stage and possibly, achieve their target of annexing the trophy.
Ghana, four-time champions will have to devise a strategy to conquer the Panthers that are likely to miss the services of Arsenal’s star, and Gabon’s top goalscorer, Pierre Aubameyang, and Mario Lemina, a central midfielder who plays for Ligue 1 club, OGC Nice.
Ghana would march onto the field as wounded lions and nothing stops the “hungry” players including Thomas Partey, Dede Ayew, Baba Rahman, Joseph Paintsil, and Kamaldeen Sulemana to sweep the maximum points.
In all, the two teams have met thrice in competitive matches where Ghana won two and lost one. The last time was in 2011, where the Black Stars defeated the Panthers 2-1.
Aaron-Salem Boupendza, the goal scorer for Gabon and Man of the match against Comoros is expected to bring on board his skills with assists from the likes of Louis Ameka Autchanga,
André Biyogo Poko, Guélor Kanga and Didier Ndong with Coach Patrice Neveu guiding the team to glory.
On paper, Ghana is superior to Gabon in football and a win for Ghana is prevalent.
Ghana is enjoying her 23rd AFCON appearance whilst Gabon is having her eighth participation. The Panthers first participated in Tunisia 1994.
Ghana would be chasing her fifth AFCON gong whilst Gabon can boast of a quarter-final finish as their best showing at the continental biggest football showpiece.
Source: Ghana News Agency