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Africa Cup of Nations

Ayew rates Ghana’s chances of group progress

09:00 IST 12/01/2022
Andre Ayew Jordan Ayew Ghana
The Black Stars skipper has told GOAL his verdict of his side’s chances of advancing in the Africa Cup of Nations

Andre Ayew remains overwhelmingly confident that Ghana will reach the Africa Cup of Nations knockout stages despite losing their opening match of the tournament against Morocco on Monday.

Sofiane Boufal’s late goal was enough to secure all three points against an Atlas Lions side shorn of some of their star players following a tight and cagey contest.

However, despite an underwhelming showing from Ghana—who registered less than 40-percent possession—Dede has no doubt that his side will reach the knockouts.

“Our chances of going through? 100 percent,” he told GOAL. “So to lose the first match isn’t good, but I also saw good things in my team so I believe we’ll qualify.

“There are still two games to go, and I’m convinced we’ll qualify.”

Next up for the Black Stars, they meet a Gabon side on Friday who will be hoping to welcome back Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from his coronavirus diagnosis.

Despite the potential of coming up against the Panthers captain—one of the finest African strikers of his generation—Ayew is unwilling to countenance anything other than victory for the Black Stars.

“We are going to go in to win this game and we will do everything to win,” he added. “What’s important is that—at the end of the two games—we’re through to the next round, so that’s what we’ll do.

“We have two games left, and we’re going to qualify.”

Gabon defeated Comoros 1-0 in their opening fixture, with Aaron Boupendza scoring one of the finest goals of the Nations Cup so far with a delightful finish.

While Aubameyang sat out of that meeting, Panthers head coach Patrice Neveu expressed optimism on Monday that the striker—who is at odds with his club side Arsenal—will be available for action.

Supremely confident Ayew may have never won the Nations Cup, but he has never experienced the indignity of a first round exit.

While the forward wasn’t present in 2013, when Ghana were defeated semi-finalsts, he has fallen in the final four on three occasions and reached the final twice—in 2010 and 2015.

The veteran’s poorest showing at the biennial continental showpiece came in 2019, when Ghana struggled through their group before being dispatched by Tunisia on penalties in the Round of 16.