JOHANNESBURG – Ghanaian talisman, Asamoah Gyan is on the verge of joining the group of elite players in the history of the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon).
Gyan will be appearing in his 8th tournament and will make history if he rattles the back of the net today. The Black Stars will lock horns with Benin in their opening fixture at Ismailia Stadium today (kick-off 10pm).
Gyan made his Afcon debut back in 2008 on his home soil. Ever since that tournament, he has been the ever-present member of the Black Stars.
Gyan is currently tied with the legendary Samuel Eto’o and Kalusha Bwalya on the list of players who have scored in the most tournaments. They have all netted in six different tournaments.
Eto’o scored in 2000 (Nigeria and Ghana), 2002 (Senegal), 2004 (Tunisia), 2006 (Egypt), 2008 (Ghana) and 2010 (Angola) for Cameroon. The former Barcelona marksman also holds the record for the most strikes in the history of the Afcon with 18 goals.
Bwayla was on the scoresheet in 1986 (Egypt), 1992 (Senegal), 1994 (Tunisia), 1996 (South Africa), 1998 (Burkina Faso) and 2000 (Nigeria and Ghana) while Gyan has been scoring goals since 2008.
Gyan is one strike away from becoming the first player to score in seven Afcon tournaments. He will be backing himself against an unfancied Benin side.
Ghana will also face Cameroon and Guinea-Bissau in group play. Gyan is eighth in the list of players with most goals in the history of Afcon. He has netted eight goals.
The legendary Ghanaian striker looks set to play in his last tournament. Ghana are looking to end their barren run of trophies. They haven’t lifted the Afcon title since 1982. They have endured turbulent times in the past three decades.
Gyan will be eager to help his country end their trophy drought.
Ghana have reached the semi-finals for the past five editions.@Mihlalibaleka