8 February 2012

Ghana: Gyan Gets Backing Despite Penalty Miss

Photo: Sydney Mahlangu/Backpagepix
Asamoah Gyan of Ghana celebrating a goal in happier times.

Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan has received strong backing from his Black Stars team-mates following his penalty miss against Zambia in the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Gyan saw his 8th minute kick palmed away by Zambia goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene as the Black Stars lost 1-0 on Wednesday in Bata.

The result dashed Ghana's hopes of reaching the finals of the tournament as they chase a fifth title.

Gyan missed a penalty kick at the 2012 FIFA World Cup against Uruguay which drew criticism from certain quarters.

However, Ghana assistant coach Kwesi Appiah says the striker needs to be encouraged rather than condemned.

"Most of the time it's the best players who take penalty kicks and sometimes they miss it. He [Gyan] is our best penalty taker anytime we have a penalty and it's just unfortunate," Appiah said after the game.

"It's one of those things in the game. It's time to encourage him than bring him down."

Captain John Mensah has also reechoed the views of his coach demanding support for Gyan.

"I spoke to him [Gyan] after the game in the dressing room. We are all aware that penalties can go either way and it can happen to anyone," Mensah said.

"We just have to keep on encouraging him and make sure he can stay fit for the next game."

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