Ghana coach hails 'great' Gyan

Gyan
Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan jumps over the advertising boards to celebrate his goal during the African Cup of Nations Group C soccer match against Algeria (Photo: AP)
AFP
Friday 23 Jan 2015
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Ghana coach Avram Grant hailed Asamoah Gyan after the Black Stars' captain struck a last-gasp winner against Algeria on Friday on his comeback after a bout of malaria.

"Asamoah is a great player with a fantastic attitude. He was ill but he played the 90 minutes and scored at the end," said Grant after overseeing his first competitive win as Ghana coach.

Gyan missed his side's opening 2-1 defeat to Senegal after being admitted to hospital last weekend with a mild bout of malaria, but he was brought straight back into the team against Algeria.

Despite appearing shattered, he remained on the pitch for the whole game and showed great pace and strength to net the goal that clinched a precious 1-0 Group C win in Mongomo.

"He is a great player but also a great personality. But it's not just the victory of one player. It's the victory of a whole team," said Grant.

"We rushed things in the first half but we are a young team and most of our players will play at least the next two Cups of Nations.

"We never let our heads go down and we managed to keep a clean sheet," added Grant, whose side joined Algeria on three points with a game to play after bouncing back from a last-minute loss to Senegal.

"Nothing is decided in the group. We conceded a goal in the last minute against Senegal, so we deserved to get a last minute goal ourselves."

Andrew Ayew added: "When the ball went in, we were all delighted because it keeps our chances alive, but there is still one match to play so there is no excess of confidence.

"We had four or five players who were a bit ill, like Gyan, John Boye and me, but we played for the country.

"We knew Gyan was ill, but we know that, even when he is not 100 percent, he can make the difference.

"He has the experience to score that type of goal in the last minute, when there is a lot of pressure."

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