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Africa Cup of Nations Qualification

Swansea City ace Andre Ayew provides an update on Sao Tome and Principe injury

12:26 BST 29/03/2021
Andre Ayew of Ghana
The Black Stars skipper has spoken about his health after picking up a late injury against The Falcons on Sunday

Ghana captain Andre Ayew has calmed fears about his fitness after sustaining an injury in what was the last action of Sunday’s 3-1 win over Sao Tome and Principe in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers.

Late in injury time, the attacker attempted to fire in a rebound after goalkeeper Aldair D’Almeida parried out Kwasi Okyere Wriedt’s shot but the Swansea City man was taken out by Sao Tome defender Adjeil Neves, whose last-ditch tackle saved his side from conceding again.

Ayew was spotted writhing in pain after the incident and could only limp off the pitch with the help of two Ghana medical staff. 

“It’s a knock, the doctors have seen. I can put my leg on the floor so, there won’t be an issue,” the 31-year-old said at the post-match conference.

Ayew’s injury was certainly a major sight of worry for Swansea fans, owing to his influence in the club’s chase for Premier League promotion, the Jack Army currently being third on the standings with nine more matches to go.

With 14 goals to his name thus far this term, he sits as the club’s top scorer, a situation highlighting what a miss a potential injury lay-off will be to their hopes.

The Sao Tome win came four days after the Black Stars held South Africa to a 1-1 away draw on the penultimate matchday of the series, a match Ayew missed due to Covid-19-related travel challenges. 

Unusually, five home-based players were handed debuts over the course of the two games as Ghana sealed qualification for what will be their 23rd Afcon appearance.

“First of all, I want to congratulate the whole squad for qualifying. In our country, because we are used to qualifying, we see it as a formality,” said the former West Ham man.

When we look at the other teams when they qualify, the way they jubilate, they way they jump everywhere, we have to be very proud and happy of what we have done and what the coaching staff has done.

“South Africa was a tough game, locals started, played really well, they gave us a point to put us one foot in Cameroon, so I want to congratulate the whole squad. Today, I’m just proud of them. All of them, it is their dream to play for the Black Stars as is always my dream, when I wear this jersey, I am more than happy as soon as a get a call-up, so I’m very proud of them, I’m sure they’re proud of themselves, their families are proud of them and they have to keep working.”

Ghana and Ayew return to action in June for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.