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Ghana vow to keep improving

Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah was happy with his side after their 1-0 win over Mali, but believes they can still get better.

A 38th-minute penalty from Wakaso Mubarak helped Ghana to their first win in Group B at the Africa Cup of Nations.

After a 2-2 draw against the Democratic Republic of the Congo in their opening game, Appiah was pleased with his team’s response on Thursday.

“The players were much more disciplined in this particular game. There was no loss of concentration during the game,” Appiah said.

“I would say we’ve still got much to offer. We can do much, much better than what we did today. We just hope that we keep going and we see more of that.”

Ghana were fortunate early in the encounter, with goalkeeper Fatau Dauda lucky to remain on the pitch.

Dauda deliberately handled the ball outside the area to deny Seydou Keita a goalscoring opportunity but only saw yellow for the incident.

Appiah said he spoke to Dauda about the handball at half-time and believes he will learn from his mistake.

“It’s not a good thing that any coach would encourage his player,” he said.

“But, saying that, during half-time I spoke to him about it, that he shouldn’t have done that, knowing very well that these are the set rules.

“It’s always important that once that is done all the players learn from it so that we don’t face situations because any yellow card can cost you along the line.”

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan warned his team against complacency when they face Niger in their final group game.

“Although we had a difficult game today we came with the mentality of winning no matter what. We needed a win in this game,” he said.

“We’re facing Niger. They played a very good game against Mali. They lost their game in the last stages. We are not here to underrate them.

“We will make sure we take it game by game and make sure we qualify. We’ve got four points. We need more points to qualify to the next stage.”

Thu 24 January, 2013
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