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Afcon favourites Ghana jet in

16 January 2013
George Byron

GHANA will jet into Port Elizabeth today for the Orange Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) soccer tournament with the tag of hot Group B favourites weighing heavily on their broad shoulders. The Black Stars, who start their bid for glory against DR Congo at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium at 5pm on Sunday, have shown superb pre-tournament form.

In their warm-up games, they thrashed Egypt 3-0 and then beat Tunisia 4-2 .

Ghana will complete their preparations at the NMMU fields before the continental showpiece kicks off.

Gabon coach Paulo Duarte has gone as far as to say that Ghana have the firepower needed to win the tournament.

The Gabon coach is with his team on a training tour of the UAE after his team failed to qualify for this month’s tournament in South Africa.

Having watched Ghana’s warm-up matches, Duarte says the Black Stars have what it takes to win the tournament in South Africa.

“Why not,” he said when asked about Ghana’s chances. “Ghana is always a favourite. They have a good team, good young players and with quality, so why not?”

Meanwhile, winger Albert Adomah is delighted to have scored his first goal for Ghana in the 4-2 win over Tunisia.

The 25-year-old came off the bench to wrap up a flamboyant second half display by the Black Stars in the friendly win in Abu Dhabi.

The Bristol City star is basking in the glory of scoring his first international goal for the Black Stars.

“I haven’t scored a goal for Ghana so it was my debut goal and hopefully I can carry on and score more goals,” he said.

Adomah will wear his team’s iconic No 10 jersey in South Africa.

The No 10 shirt has usually been reserved for Ghana’s captains until it was given to Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah when Stephen Appiah retired from international football.

More recently, the proud wearer of the shirt was Andre Ayew, of Olympique Marseille, who was left out of the squad at the last minute.

In Group B with Ghana are Mali and Niger. The two teams, already in the city, have been training at Westbourne Oval and Gelvandale Stadium ahead of the big kick-off.

DR Congo, who landed in Port Elizabeth last night, will use the Zwide Stadium for their training.

PE’s Afcon fixtures are:

January 20: Ghana v DR Congo 5pm, Mali v Niger 8pm

January 24: Ghana v Mali 5pm, Niger v DR Congo 8pm

January 27: Cape Verde Islands v Angola

January 28: Niger v Ghana

February 2: winners Group B v runners-up Group A

February 9: Playoff for third place 8pm



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