Ghana midfielder Afriyie Acquah opines Tuesday’s defeat to Sudan in the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualifiers was not a result of complacency on the part of the Black Stars.
The West Africans suffered their first loss of the group in the matchweek four fixture at Al Hilal Stadium, Omdurman, as Mohamed Abdelrahman netted in second-half injury-time goal to win it all for the hosts.
Five days earlier, the two teams met on matchday four in Cape Coast where an Andre Ayew double ensured a 2-0 triumph for Ghana.
“As we all know, in the first leg we managed a 2-0 victory. So we were determined to go into the reverse fixture and win but unfortunately, it couldn’t materialise,” Yeni Malatyaspor midfielder Acquah said, as reported by Citisportsonline.
“We lost in the last minute but we still have a chance to qualify, we have two other games to play which I think we can win.
“Anyone who watched the first game can testify that the Sudanese have a good team, now football has changed, everyone knows how to play so you cannot underrate any team.
“We never underrated them, it was a game and in every game, anything can happen. The defeat does not mean we underestimated them, it just happened. We will correct our mistakes and move on.”
Despite the defeat, Ghana still stand in pole position to qualify for the final tournament in Cameroon as they top the table in Group C, with two more rounds of matches to go.
A win or draw in Sudan would have secured the Black Stars a qualification ticket with two games to spare.
“Overall, I think we did well. We lost to a team that showed more hunger than us,” Ghana coach CK Akonnor said after the game.
“If I look at the way we played in Ghana and the way we played here, I feel there is a bit of improvement in terms of containing pressure and all that.
“The players fought under uncomfortable conditions like the weather and the Sudanese tried to frustrate us before the game and I appreciate the players’ effort.
“The Sudanese players were hungrier than us. We will learn from the mistakes we made today and we’ll do well against South Africa and Sao Tome and qualify.
“I strongly believe and I can assure Ghanaians that we’ll do our best to qualify.”
Ghana are chasing their 23rd appearance at Afcon and the qualifiers commence in March.