Grants: Stars showed maturity against Mali

Newcastle winger Christian Atsu (left) was the standout player for Ghana in Port-Gentil

Newcastle winger Christian Atsu (left) was the standout player for Ghana in Port-Gentil

Head Coach of the Black Stars, Avram Grant says the players proved their maturity with the performance put up in the second half of the game against Mali to secure the three points.

In a post match press conference, Coach Grant said, their second half performance was aimed at allowing the Malians to play, while they take them on the counter, but added that, the pitch made it impossible to breakaway, hence the strategy to resort to what he described as mature football to ensure they maintained their lead.

He explained that it was not part of their plans to play poor in the second half but the physical nature of the Malians coupled with their ability to execute their counter attack approach affected their game plan.

Coach Grant said, he was happy with the performance of the team, adding that, they have played two matches and picked the maximum points and that was the most important thing in football.

“We dominated the first half and played very well, but Mali took over in the second half. It was a very difficult game but we survived their attacks in the second half.

“Mali has a very good team but we relied on our experience and maturity to overcome them.” Coach Grant noted.

Ghana defeated Mali by a lone goal courtesy Asamoah Gyan’s header from Jordan Ayew’s cross in the 20th minute.

The Black Stars have thus gained automatic qualification into the quarter finals of the competition, having gathered six points from two games.-GNA

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