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Africa Cup of Nations

Appiah to run the rule over Ghana strikers in Mauritania friendly ahead of Afcon

2:29 am AEDT 26/3/19
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah
The Black Stars boss talks about his ambition for Tuesday's fixture against Al-Murabitun in Accra

Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah says Tuesday's international friendly against Mauritania will be the last opportunity for his strikers to stake a claim for a spot in his final squad for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations

The Black Stars are set to mark the commencement of their preparations for the June/July tournament in Egypt with a home game against Al-Murabitun at the Accra Sports Stadium. 

The match comes three days after Ghana beat Kenya 1-0 on the final matchday of the tournament's qualifying on Saturday. 

“From the start, I kept saying that the games against Kenya and Mauritania would be used to assess some of the players whom I am not 100 percent sure about," Appiah said, as reported by Citinewsroom.

"We are going to the Afcon and so it is important that we know the player we will pick.

"This is the last time I will be calling players and it was important that we brought in some new strikers so we can decide whether they are better than the ones we have. 

"Some of the players have featured against Kenya and others will play on Tuesday and I will make sure they play so we can take a decision on them.”

Ghana are yet to find solutions for their goal-scoring challenge as all-time top scorer Asamoah Gyan has hit the limelight of his career and is well set to bow out after the Afcon. 

The Kayserispor striker has been plagued by injuries and loss of form lately, culminating in his snub for this month's international games. Nonetheless, he is expected to be selected for the Afcon should he stay fit.

For the games against Kenya and Mauritania, Crystal Palace man Jordan Ayew, China-based Emmanuel Boateng and Italian-born Caleb Ekuban, who scored on his debut against Kenya, are the three strikers called up. 

Nantes ace Majeed Waris is out injured while Levante summer signing Raphael Dwamena and Serbia-based Richmond Boakye-Yiadom have been ignored. 

Reports say Appiah is still working to convince Spain youth and Athletic Bilbao forward Inaki Williams to switch international allegiance ahead of the 2019 Afcon.