Ghana secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations as Asamoah Gyan’s goal was enough for them to beat Mali 1-0 in Port-Gentil on Saturday.
On an appalling playing surface, Gyan headed home from Jordan Ayew’s cross in the 21st minute to score his eighth goal at the Cup of Nations over six consecutive tournaments going back to 2008.
With two wins from two matches in Group D, 2015 runners-up the Black Stars are certain of another appearance in the knockout stage of a tournament they have won four times.
Meanwhile, Ghana coach Avrant Grant believes the poor pitches at the Africa Cup of Nations are damaging the players.
Grant is one of a number of voices to criticize the playing surfaces in Gabon and he declared “five injuries so far have been down to the pitch”.
The Israeli added: “The main actors are the players and we need to give them the stage to perform well.
“The organizing committee should change the rules to let teams replace players who got injured due to the pitch.”
Grant highlighted the problem facing Group D rivals Egypt, who have only veteran stopper Essam El Hadary available after injuries to Ahmed El Shenawy and Sherif Ekramy but under tournament regulations cannot call up another goalkeeper to their squad.
“Two of Egypt’s goalkeepers got injured due to the pitch. It is not their fault and not fair to them,” Grant said.
“We cannot change the pitch now so let Egypt bring in another goalkeeper. They cannot stay with one ‘keeper, even if we have to play against them, it’s not sporting.”