Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah celebrates with his soccer team players after the 2014 World Cup qualifying second leg playoff match against Egypt at Air Defence "30 June" Stadium in Cairo, 19 November, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah believes the Black Stars achieved their target despite Tuesday's defeat against Egypt, stressing that the Pharaohs were a good opponent.
Egypt produced a spirited display to beat Ghana 2-1 in Cairo, but the victory was a mere consolation as the Ghanaians became the fourth African team to reach next year's World Cupwith a comprehensive 7-3 aggregate win.
The narrow victory saved the Egyptians face after the first leg humiliating 6-1 loss in Kumasi last month.
"It was a difficult match to play for Ghana. A late arrival at the stadium limited our warm up and as a result we were rather slow out of the blocks," Appiah told Cafonline.com on Wednesday.
“No matter how psyched up you may want to be, taking a commanding lead like 6-1 into a second match [as] was the case [...] plays on your mind.
"We knew the Egyptians would be in a hurry [so] we opted to slow down play and I [think] we did that well," said Appiah, adding "We were up against a good Egyptian team [but] we did what was required and [...] are all pleased to qualify for Brazil 2014.”
Egypt was seeking its first World Cup spot since its last appearance at the 1990 edition in Italy.
Local coaches deserve the chance
Under the guidance of Appiah, Ghana reached the World Cup for the third successive time. Earlier this week, Nigeria secured its place at next year's tournament with a 2-0 victory over Ethiopia in the second leg of a qualifying play-off.
“We have been saying all along that, given support and opportunity from football authorities, local coaches will deliver credible results [...] What has happened to Keshi with Nigeria and now with me and Ghana [gives me great pleasure]," Appiah concluded.
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