Ghanaian legend Gyan tips rivals Nigeria to win 2021 AFCON title
NIGERIA and Ghana have a fierce rivalry in football that has been in existence for decades, and the two countries rarely wish each other well in the sport.
However, the Super Eagles were so impressive against Egypt on Tuesday that a Ghanaian great is tipping them to go all the way at the 2021 AFCON in Cameroon.
Legendary Black Stars striker and AFCON pundit for cable television channel SuperSport, Asamaoh Gyan, considers Nigeria to be the best team in Cameroon so far, and worthy of the trophy.
“Yes, as of today Nigeria stands out as the team with the will to conquer all opposition going by what happened in the match against Egypt,” Gyan said in the SuperSport studios.
“Every other potential winner of the tournament seems to be playing with too much caution and this explains why most of the matches have not been impressive.”
Gyan, who scored 51 goals in 109 Ghana appearances, was blown away by Nigeria’s dominance over fellow favourites Egypt in a 1-0 win in Garoua.
“But when you look at Nigeria, they showed character of a potential champion considering the way they dominated Egypt all through the 90 minutes,” the former Sunderland star explained.
“Nigeria deserved to score more goals in the match but they were unlucky in the final third. This was a team that had their pre-tournament challenges as they were unable to have some of their best forwards for the tournament and playing a strong team like Egypt in the opening match was an acid test and they excelled.
“When you look at how Nigeria imposed themselves on Egypt, other teams are yet to show character and one only hoped they maintained same tempo as the tournament progresses.”
Gyan, 36, reached the AFCON final with the Black Stars in 2010 and 2015, and is infamous for missing a last-minute penalty that would have steered Ghana to a historic semi-final spot at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
The ongoing AFCON has been short of goals so far, with only the two games involving hosts Cameroon producing more than one goal. The other games so far as at Friday afternoon have ended either 1-0 or 0-0.
The Super Eagles had to drop Napoli striker Victor Osimhen, Genk centre forward Paul Onuachu, Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis and Rangers defender Leon Balogun from their final squad for various reasons, mostly injuries.