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Gyan
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SquadEdit

Goalkeepers: Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset)

Defenders: Harrison Afful (ES Tunis), John Boye (Rennes), Samuel Inkoom (Dnipro), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege),  Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns)

Midfielders: Afriyie Acquah (Parma), Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough), Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (Udinese), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Christian Atsu (Chelsea), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Michael Essien (Milan), Wakaso Mubarak (Rubin Kazan), Sulley Muntari (Milan), Mohammed Rabiu (Kuban Krasnodar)

Forwards: Jordan Ayew (Marseille), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke), Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes)

Ghana
Edit

Team ProfileEdit

Ghana saw history slip through their fingers at the last FIFA World Cup and will be eager to set the record straight this time around.

Having been denied what would surely have been a late extra-time winner by Luis Suarez's handball on the line, Asamoah Gyan's subsequent missed penalty proved even more costly when Ghana lost in a shootout against Uruguay.

Victory would have ensured that Ghana became the first African nation to reach the last four of a World Cup, but that accolade eluded them in South Africa.

Those are the demons that Kwesi Appiah's men will seek to exorcise in Brazil, and much will rest on Gyan's shoulders.

The Ghana captain has vowed never to take another spot-kick for his country - except in a shootout -- but he comes into this tournament after enjoying a prolific campaign with club side Al Ain.

With 29 UAE Pro League goals to his name, Gyan will not be short on confidence as Ghana face the United States, Germany and Portugal in Group G.

The USA and Joachim Low's side are familiar foes to Ghana. Germany ran out 1-0 winners in a Group D meeting four years ago, while the USA and Ghana have crossed paths at the last two World Cups, the Africans winning both times.

Ghana's route to the 2014 competition was relatively smooth, Appiah's side finishing top of their qualifying group before securing an emphatic two-legged victory over Egypt, thanks largely to a memorable 6-1 win on home soil.

Sulley Muntari, like Gyan, will be returning for his third World Cup and the Milan midfielder's wealth of experience will prove invaluable to his side's cause.

San Siro team-mate Michael Essien will return to the world stage after cruelly being denied the chance to play on his home continent when he suffered a serious knee injury ahead of the 2010 showpiece.

And there are further well-known names littered throughout Ghana's squad, with Juventus' Kwadwo Asamoah and Schalke's Kevin-Prince Boateng among the other leading lights at Appiah's disposal.

One familiar face will be missing, though, as goalkeeper Richard Kingson – Ghana's most capped player with 90 appearances under his belt – has been overlooked, with Adam Kwarasey, Fatau Dauda and Stephen Adams set to fight it out for the goalkeeper's spot.

While his side go in search of a place in history, coach Appiah is already assured of his. The 53-year-old will become the first Ghanaian to lead his nation at a World Cup, with Serbian duo Ratomir Dujkovic and Milovan Rajevac having been at the helm in 2006 and 2010 respectively.

Appiah faces a significant challenge in repeating the achievement of his two most recent predecessors and making it to the knockout stages.

Germany and Portugal, ranked among the world's top three, will be considered favourites to claim the top two spots, but Ghana will care little for reputations as they bid to erase the bitter memories of their Johannesburg heartache.


Player Profile (Asamoah Gyan)Edit

Position: Striker
Date of Birth: November 22, 1985
Club: Al Ain
International Debut: v Somalia (November 19, 2003)
World Cup Appearances: 8
World Cup Goals: 4

Asamoah Gyan endured mixed fortunes at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and remains haunted by a tale of two penalties.

The striker scored three vital goals as Ghana marched to the brink of history, but it all came to a harrowing end in Johannesburg as the Black Stars faced Uruguay in a quarter-final match that hinged on a moment of controversy and a missed spot-kick.

With the scores tied at 1-1 and injury time nearly up in the second half of extra time, Ghana were twice denied a dramatic winner by Luis Suarez - the first time by fair means, the second by foul play.

The Uruguay striker, who, like Gyan, scored three goals in South Africa, blocked Stephen Appiah's shot with his knee and then kept out Dominic Adiyiah's header on the rebound with his hands, earning him a red card.

Gyan had the opportunity to score the penalty that would have made Ghana the first African nation to reach the last four of a World Cup - but his powerful effort struck the crossbar and history slipped through his fingers.

He showed remarkable character to step up and drill his side's first penalty of the shootout into the top-right corner, but two of his team-mates failed with their attempts and Ghana exited the tournament.

The experience left an indelible mark on Gyan, whose spot-kick woes were compounded when, at the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, he saw a penalty saved as Ghana suffered a 1-0 semi-final loss to Zambia.

Gyan promised before the 2013 edition of that tournament that he would no longer take penalties for his country, with the exception of shootouts, and renewed that pledge ahead of the 2014 World Cup, explaining that the decision was out of respect for his late mother.
"Although my mother, who advised me not to take penalties for Ghana, is no more, that is the last thing I have to do to pay my respect to her, so for now I won't volunteer to take penalties for Ghana," Gyan said in an interview reported by Ghanasoccernet.com.

"You see I am the first option in terms of spot-kicks for my club, but that is not going to happen for Ghana because of previous experience, but during penalty shootout and it becomes mandatory for me to take a penalty I will."

Gyan, though, remains a central figure for Ghana and the captain scored six goals in their qualification for Brazil.

Two familiar foes await them in South America, with the United States - who Ghana beat in the second round four years ago - and fellow 2010 Group D side Germany in their pool this time around, along with Portugal.

Gyan scored an extra-time winner against the USA - who were also beaten by Ghana at the 2006 World Cup - and has continued to demonstrate his prowess in front of goal since signing for Al Ain.

He has netted more than 20 goals in each of his three seasons with the UAE Pro-League outfit, who he joined from Premier League side Sunderland.

The 28-year-old has scored more than 150 goals for club and country in a career that has seen him once crowned Ghanaian Footballer of the Year.

And Kwesi Appiah's side will look to Gyan as they bid to exorcise the demons of their 2010 heartache.


News SourcesEdit

Ghana FA - http://www.ghanafa.org/

Twitter - https://twitter.com/ghanafaofficial

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/GhanaFootballAssociation

Ghana Soccernet - http://www.ghanasoccernet.com/

Newsnow - http://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/Sport/Football/Africa/Ghana

FIFA - http://www.fifa.com/associations/association=gha/news/

Ghana Web - http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/SportsArchive/