Ayew anticipates 'tough' Mali test in Afcon

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The midfielder says the Eagles will be difficult to handle on Saturday but believes the Black Stars will put up an improved performance

Ghana midfielder Andre Ayew believes Mali will be a difficult opponent as they prepare for their second group game in the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.

Ayew handed the Black Stars a lone goal victory over Uganda with a 30th minute penalty, after Asamoah Gyan was brought down by Isaac Isinde.

Mali, on the other hand, shared the spoils goalless with Egypt in their first game and are in dire need of three points to breathe life into their campaign. 

“It will be a difficult game against Mali. It is a very tough group, you can see the games [played]," Ayew told Supersports.com.

“We are working hard and playing well. We are preparing for the next game which is against Mali and hopefully we will be ready for them on Saturday. Hopefully, we are going to continue like this and play our football for 90 minutes and not just 45 minutes like in the game against Uganda.

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“Uganda had a good second-half against us. They played really well and it is a team that we know. We are happy to have won. In the last edition, even though, we lost our first game, we made it to the final so it is good to start with a win," he added.

Ghana will be without Abdul Baba Rahman following an injury he picked up against Uganda. The 22-year-old is expected to travel to Germany for a surgery to repair the damage.

A win for Ghana will hand them ticket to the quarterfinals of the tournament with a game to spare.

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