Ghana coach Kwasi Appiah has applauded his players for their performance at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, even in defeat.
The soft-spoken Appiah had some kind words for his team for their fourth-place finish at the 29th edition of the continental showpiece soccer event after suffering a 1-3 loss to Mali in their third-place match on Saturday in Port Elizabeth.
Mali avenged a lone-goal loss from their earlier meeting at the group phase, to snatch bronze courtesy goals from Mahamadou Samassa, Seydou Keita and Sigamary Diarra in the encounter they dominated. Ghana's consolation came from Kwadwo Asamoah in the closing stages of the game.
"The players have done well, getting to the semi-final compared to other teams that exited at the early stages. This is a new team with 11-players making their debut at this level.
"You cannot expect to win everything whilst building a team. It takes time and I believe this team will get better," said Appiah.
According to the Black Stars trainer, the players failed to take their chances including missing a penalty against the determined Malians, who claimed their successive bronze. Last year, Les Aigles beat Ghana 2-0 at the same stage.
"We had our chances and did not take them. Anything can happen from the penalty spot. I would have loved Wakaso (Mubarak) to score and emerge top scorer in the competition.
"The team has gained much experience and will do better when given another opportunity," he concluded.