Black Stars are gearing up for a crucial encounter against Egypt in their second Group B match at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Côte d’Ivoire. Ahead of Thursday night’s match, Jordan Ayew addressed the media and delivered a sharp response to a question from a Nigerian journalist regarding the team’s recent performances.
When asked if he considered his generation of players to be on the brink of failure, following Ghana’s early exit from the previous AFCON and their poor start to the current tournament, Ayew retorted, “Are we disqualified yet? Are we? Wait until that happens, then you can talk.”
The Ghanaian forward stressed the importance of focusing on the task at hand, stating, “Tomorrow is going to be a tough game. The boys are ready. We’ve put ourselves in this situation, and we need to come out of it.” He added, “You never know in football; tomorrow we are ready, and we will do our best, we will fight and represent Ghana as well as we can, put in a better performance as a team, and hopefully tomorrow everyone will be happy.”
Ayew admitted that the team did not perform well in their opening match against Cape Verde, citing a lack of concentration as a key factor. “The first game we didn’t concentrate [for] 90+ minutes, and that’s what cost us the game,” he said. “The most important thing for us is to come back and stay focused. We have to stay aggressive, and we’ll be fine. I have total belief in the players and staff.”
The match between Egypt and Ghana promises to be an exciting encounter, with both teams eager to bounce back from their respective poor outcomes in their opening matches. While Egypt were held to a 1-1 draw by Mozambique, Ghana suffered a surprise 2-1 loss to Cape Verde. Both teams have a rich history in the tournament, but their recent performances have been below par.
Egypt have a slight edge over Ghana in head-to-head encounters, winning two out of four matches, including a 1-0 victory in the 2010 AFCON final. However, Ayew remains confident in his team’s abilities, stressing, “I have total belief in the players and staff.”
The outcome of Thursday’s match could have significant implications for both teams’ chances of advancing from Group B, with Cape Verde leading the pack after their unexpected victory and then Cape Verde with a point, same as Egypt. The pressure is on for Egypt and Ghana to deliver, and fans across the continent will be eagerly awaiting the result of this heavyweight clash.