Grant hails Black Stars

On course – Coach Grant at the post-match press conference

On course – Coach Grant at the post-match press conference

BLACK Stars’ coach, Avram Grant has hailed his team after beating South Africa last Tuesday to emerge winners of Group C which he describes as the ‘group of life’.

The Black Stars needed late goals from John Boye and Andre Ayew to seal its spot in the quarter-finals of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

Ghana had suffered an early setback when it went behind in last Tuesday’s must-win game to South Africa.

The Black Stars however displayed a lot of determination and courage – especially in the second half – to clinch the vital win which saw them progress in the competition as winners of Group C.

Grant was full of praise for his team for making it through a tough group which also included tournament favourites Algeria and a crack Senegal side.

“It [game against South Africa] was difficult like all the other games. All the games in this group was difficult,” he told MTNFootball.com.

“You called it the group of death, we called it the group of life.

“It was a really tough group. I spoke with the players who have experience in Africa and they told me they haven’t seen an African Cup tournament which is so tough like this.

“At the end of the day, even though we lost [first game] we are the first in the group.

“And this shows the great attitude of the players.”

Meanwhile, Grant says he will continue to tinker with his starting line-up at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations as he wants to give opportunities to the Black Stars players on the bench.

The Black Stars are through to the quarter-finals of Africa’s flagship football competition and has given opportunities to some previously bench warmers in the squad.

Midfielder Afriyie Acquah has taken the position of Rabiu Mohammed while Emmanuel Agyemang Badu made way for Mubarak Wakaso in yesterday’s 2-1 win over South Africa.

Daniel Amartey has taken the place of John Boye while Mohammed Awal, Kwesi Appiah, Solomon Asante and Mahatma Otoo have all been given playing time at the tournament.

Grant says because of the tough nature of the tournament he wants to give playing to all the players to ensure that their energy is intact.

“We want to use all the players we have. We are playing games every four days so it is important to use the players to change the games because every game is different,” Grant said.

Ghana will now face the runners-up in Group D in Malabo on Sunday.

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