Trial matches good exercises – Coach Appiah says after Ghana, South Africa draw

Sports Min 1.png The Black Stars as they lined up against South Africa in last Saturday’s friendly

Ghana’s senior national football team coach, James Kwasi Appiah says the team can draw more positives from their preparations so far towards the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) rather than being apprehensive.

The Black Stars, in Dubai preparing for the AFCON which opens in Egypt on Friday, last Saturday drew goalless with South Africa in their final trial match at the Police Academy Park.

Last week, the Stars were also beaten 0-1 by Namibia in a similar exercise, raising concerns about the readiness of the team for the AFCON challenge as they seek to end Ghana’s 37-year-old wait for the title.

Though both Ghana and South Africa fielded a strong line up for the match, and despite their good showing, neither of them could find the back of the opponents’ net, with Stars’ striker, Asamoah Gyan, last-minute effort being denied by the woodwork.

Despite failing to score in both games, Coach Appiah has allayed fears, assuring that they have identified their shortfalls and will improve upon it before their campaign kicks off.

“I think the idea was to get the team play together in a competitive atmosphere. The matches served the purpose. Am I worried about not scoring? The intention was not to win, but see what we have been able to achieve in these past few days.

“We have some rough edges to smoothen before our campaign kicks off and these few days will be dedicated to that,” Appiah said.

The Stars will continue with their preparations in Dubai and leave for Ismailia, their Group F campaign base to round up their preparations.

Though the AFCON kicks off on Friday, Ghana’s opening game will be against Benin on June 25, then play Cameroun on June 29 with the final group game against Guinea Bissau on July 2.