Gyan: Ghana Must Finish Job In Cairo

When Asamoah Gyan scored in the fifth minute against Egypt last month, the outpouring of emotion and adulation in Kumasi was immense. The crowd, nearly 40,000, burst to life.
The Ghanaian fans showered praises down on their striker and captain. Gyan’s teammates, even those from the substitutes’ bench, flocked around him.
“It’s a great moment to remember,” Gyan told about his opening goal, a perfect shot from a tight angle that sent the Black Stars on their way to a resounding 6-1 win and put a foot into the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“You can’t really expect such a massive result against a team like Egypt. We were hoping to get a comfortable win at home, but things just went right for us on the night.
“We deserved it,” added the 27-year-old, looking to line up at his third straight World Cup next summer. “The players fought their hearts out – everyone was fighting so hard. And the crowd were simply amazing.”
It was a rare accord between the Ghanaian faithful and Gyan. He’s about to become Ghana’s all-time top scorer; he’s short-listed for 2013’s African footballer of the year; and he’s starred in some of the world’s top leagues. But the striker has often attracted the ire of his countrymen on the terraces.
He was criticised, taunted and jeered by fans during the 2008 African Cup of Nations on home soil. His missed penalty in last year’s African showpiece against eventual champions Zambia inspired more rough treatment back home.
It caused Gyan to call time, temporarily, on his international career. The break didn’t last, happily for fans in Kumasi who saw Baby Jet back to his best form against Egypt. He scored twice in the rout.
“We’re desperate to get back to the World Cup, but we have to make sure we do things in the right way in the second leg,” he said ahead of the return fixture on Tuesday, 19 November, 2013 in Cairo, calling for focus. “It’s football, so anything can happen.”
There is a distinct whiff of caution in Gyan’s tone, and it is understandable. The striker, perhaps more than anyone, knows just how wrong things can go after looking so clear-cut.
It was his penalty-kick that dramatically thudded against the Uruguayan crossbar in the dying moments of extra-time in Soweto three years ago, forcing a penalty shootout that Ghana went on to lose.

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