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Ghana forward Yahaya wants attention on Afcon rather than friendly results

20:50 BST 11/06/2021
Samuel Owusu of Ghana and Mamadu Cande of Guinea-Bissau
The former Nice man shares his thoughts on the Black Stars preparations for the continental showpiece

Ghana international Yahaya Mohammed has urged the nation to look beyond score lines as the Black Stars prepare for upcoming assignments.

CK Akonnor’s outfit are bracing themselves for the start of the second round of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in September and the Africa Cup of Nations in in January.

On Tuesday, the team succumbed to a 1-0 defeat to Morocco in a test game, with another friendly tie against Cote d’Ivoire scheduled for Saturday.

“In my opinion I’m not thinking about the score line of the game. I’m thinking about how prepared we are to win the [2021] Africa Cup because winning all our friendly matches and losing the Africa Cup, it’s zero,” Aduana Stars striker Yayaha, formerly of French side Nice, told Goodnews FM.

“I think building my team to win the Africa Cup is better than you winning all your friendly matches without thinking about building a team and filling your holes to win Afcon, work done is zero.

“Ghanaians should lower their expectation [about the friendly matches] and rather come together to help the coach.

“Now he [coach Akonnor] is the one there, you have no option but to support him. Whether you are party A or party B, you have to support him for him to win the ultimate for us.”

Akonnor has been tasked to lead Ghana to Afcon glory for the first time since 1982 and as well guide the team to secure qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

In September, the Black Stars are set to begin their journey to Qatar 2022 with consecutive games against Ethiopia and South Africa in Group G, which also features Zimbabwe.

The West Africans are determined to secure a ticket for the championship, having missed out on the 2018 edition in Russia.

Already qualified for the January-February Afcon tournament in Cameroon, the Black Stars are seeking to end a series of disappointments since their last continental success 39 years ago.

At the last gathering in Egypt, Ghana, then led by James Kwasi Appiah, suffered a Round of 16 defeat at the hands of Tunisia.