Tuesday, Jan 24, 2012
FRANCEVILLE, Gabon - Ghana star striker Asamoah Gyan has predicted there will more surprises at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, regarded by many as the most open in recent years.
Tunisia, Equatorial Guinea and Zambia have already produced some shock results and Black Stars striker Gyan said he expects more as the tournament progresses.
Speaking ahead of Ghana's first run out against Botswana here Tuesday, he said: "I have already predicted that there will be a lot of surprises in this competition and already we have seen some.
"There will be more," warned the striker, who is on loan in the United Arab Emirates from English club Sunderland.
"That is why Ghana will not underrate any team in this tournament."
Gyan has a made a remarkable recovery from a hamstring injury using a placenta treatment by a Serbian housewife and he is fit for his team's opening Group D match against debutants Botswana.
Four-time champions Ghana are one of the pre-tournament favourites even though they last won it 30 years ago.
They were beaten in the final 2010 edition in Angola by Egypt and two years earlier, when they hosted the competition, they finished third.
The Black Stars also reached the last eight of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, equalling the African record of Cameroon and Senegal.
Gyan's teammates John Mensah and Andre Ayew said winning the trophy is the target.
"At the last tournament in Angola, we finished second and I hope we could do better here for Ghana to win the trophy again," said skipper Mensah.
"We are one of the favourites and we will prove we are favourites," added Ayew, whose father the legendary Abedi Pele was in the cup-winning squad who won Ghana's last Nations Cup in Libya in 1982.
"There are a lot of expectations from the whole of Africa and luckily we have a coach who has motivated us as he himself was a former footballer."