Ghana ready for Pharaohs in today’s last group game

Ghana's Israeli coach Avram Grant (C) takes part in a training session in Port-Gentil on January 18, 2017, during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in Gabon. Justin TALLIS / AFP

Ghana’s Israeli coach Avram Grant (C) takes part in a training session in Port-Gentil on January 18, 2017, during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations football tournament in Gabon.<br />Justin TALLIS / AFP

Ghana will look to stymie Egypt’s hopes of reaching the quarterfinals of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations when the teams meet in a Group D clash at the Stade de Port-Gentil on today evening, kick-off at 9pm.

The Pharaohs have claimed four points in the pool thus far and stand on the verge of joining Ghana in the last eight: Hector Cuper’s side need only a draw to ensure they cannot be overhauled by Mali, who face eliminated Uganda in a concurrent match in Oyem.

A win will be even better for the North Africans, allowing them to leapfrog into top spot and ensure they remain in Port-Gentil and face the runners-up of Group C.

“Winning and qualifying to the next round are more important than the performance,” veteran goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary told beIN Sports after Egypt’s 1-0 win over Uganda on Saturday.

“I want to thank all the players for their performance in today’s match despite the poor state of the pitch,” the 44-year-old said.

“We’ve an important game against Ghana in three days and we hope to secure qualification to the next round.”

Ghana may already be through to the last eight, but they won’t take it easy against Egypt: having recently lost to the Pharaohs in a 2018 World Cup qualifier, the chance to put them out of the tournament is one they will be itching to capitalise on.

Coach Avram Grant, meanwhile, has confirmed that he will leave his post when the 2017 AFCON is complete. After taking Ghana to a runners-up finish in 2015, the Israeli will hope to end his tenure by going one step further this time around.



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