Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Kwesi Appiah predicts Ghana will improve
Africa Cup of Nations 2013: Kwesi Appiah insists Ghana will improve after setting up a quarter-final clash against Cape Verde
Kwesi Appiah insists his side will continue to improve after Ghana saw off Niger to top Group B and set-up a quarter-final clash with Cape Verde.
Appiah kept faith with ex-Sunderland forward Asamoah Gyan, who scored one and made two at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.
And Appiah believes his side will step up another gear in the knock-out stages, having increasingly improved throughout Group B against DR Congo, Mali and Niger respectively.
“We have a new team, a developing team and I would say we are improving,” said Appiah. “We are halfway there.
“We stepped up our game and won against a good Niger team, we hope to do better as we progress in this competition.
“Of course I am delighted we are in the quarter-finals but we now have a very hard match against Cape Verde ahead of us and that will not be easy.”
Domestic media in Ghana were calling for Gyan to be dropped after a slow start to the tournament, but the Black Stars captain opened the scoring within five minutes.
Niger felt rightly aggrieved early on as Koffi Dan Kowa’s strike was ruled out for a Moussa Maazou push on Ghana keeper Fatau Dauda.
The former Black Cats forward found Christian Atsu to double Ghana’s lead and immediately after the interval his header was parried by keeper Daouda Kassaly, allowing John Boye to tap-in.
Meanwhile, Niger coach Gernot Rohr remained upbeat despite the defeat condemning his side to bottom place in Group B with just a single point.
“I am proud of my players despite the loss,” he said. “They displayed courage and the future is bright, we were up against a better, faster team today.
“Of course I am sorry that we are out, but we have time now to improve and at least we got a point, which is better than we did last time.
“I would like to congratulate Ghana. They played very well, I was very impressed with them and for me, well of course they are good enough to win the title.”