Asamoah Gyan

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Trio of Crew players in Ghana roster to face USMNT, Mexico

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Ghana’s team to face the United States men’s national team on Saturday in East Hartford will look somewhat familiar to fans of Major League Soccer.

Columbus Crew players Harrison Afful, Mohammed Abu and Jonathan Mensah join David Accam of the Chicago Fire, and Gershon Koffie of the New England Revolution on a unit with Kwadwo Poku of the NASL’s Miami FC.

John Boye, Asamoah Gyan, and Mensah are the only three players from the loss to the USMNT in the 2014 World Cup.

[ MORE: Full FIFA-Qatar report leaked? ]

Like the U.S., this is a less than full-strength squad. Missing are a number of Black Stars standouts, with Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Afriyie Acquah, Daniel Amartey, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Christian Atsu, Jeff Schlupp, and Baba Rahman not with the team.

Saturday’s match is the last USMNT outing before the Gold Cup begins on July 8 in Nashville against Panama.

Goalkeepers: Addo Joseph (Aduana Stars), Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars)

Defenders: Lumor Agbenyenu (Munich 1860), Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew),  Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea), Jerry Akaminko (Eskiserhispor),  John Boye (Sivasspor), Rashid Sumalia (Al Gharafa), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew), Samuel Sarfo (Liberty)

Midfielders: Mohammed Abu (Columbus Crew, Isaac Sackey (Alanyaspor), Ofori Ebenezer (Stuttgart), Kwadwo Poku (FC Miami), Winful Kwaku Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht), Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda), Gershon Koffie (New England Revolution)

Strikers: Asamoah Gyan (Al Alhi), Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich), Majeed Abdul Waris (Lorient FC), David Accam (Chicago Fire)

AFCON wrap: Ghana books place in quarterfinals, Egypt edges Uganda

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One Group D side has already sealed its fate in the final eight, while another squad moved on step closer to the African Cup of Nations knockout phase on Saturday.

[ MORE: All AFCON 2017 coverage ]

Ghana 1-0 Mali

The Ghanaians ensured their place in the knockout round after Asamoah Gyan scored for the Black Stars.

Gyan, 31, nodded home a Jordan Ayew cross in the 21st minute, giving Ghana its second straight win in the competition.

Mali will need a victory in its final group stage match against Uganda in order to have a shot at advancing to the last eight.

Egypt 1-0 Uganda

Abdallah El Said played hero on Saturday for Egypt after scoring in the 89th minute to lift Héctor Cúper’s side past Uganda.

The Al Ahly forward finished off Mohamed Salah‘s cross in the game’s dying moments to give Egypt a strong shot at advancing out of Group D.

The Egyptians currently sit second in the group on four points, while Uganda has officially been eliminated from advancing.

Sunday’s AFCON schedule

Cameroon vs. Gabon — 2 p.m. ET
Guinea-Bissau vs. Burkina Faso — 2 p.m. ET

Asamoah Gyan signs contract with Shanghai SIPG worth reported $350,000 per week

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Asamoah Gyan is going to China…and to the bank.

The Ghanaian striker has signed a deal with Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG worth a reported $350,000 per week in wages. That would make Gyan one of the top ten highest paid players in the world, behind the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

[ FOLLOW: All the latest transfer gossip ]

Gyan has spent the past four seasons with Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, where he tallied 113 goals in 104 appearances. At Al Ain, he made a measly $250,000 per week.

Before that, the striker scored 11 goals in 37 appearances for Sunderland in the Premier League.

The Chinese Super League has made a splash this summer with some high-profile signings, including Demba Ba and Mohamed Sissoko, who both moved to Shanghai Shenhua for big-money contracts.

[ REPORT: Freddy Adu set to join Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL ]

At Shanghai SIPG, Gyan will be coached by Sven-Goran Eriksson, the former England and Manchester City manager.

The captain of Ghana’s national team is the all-time leading African scorer at the World Cup, with six goals over three tournaments. He is the Black Star’s all-time leading goalscorer with 48 goals in 92 appearances for his country.

Ivory Coast and Ghana set to battle for AFCON title

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The final is set for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, and it’s a dream matchup for football fans.

Ivory Coast and Ghana will face-off on Sunday, February 8th to determine which team is the best in all of Africa.

When thinking of your powerhouses in African football, Ivory Coast and Ghana are near the top of that list. Both countries have produced players that are stars for their clubs in Europe and both have featured in the previous three World Cups.

[ RELATED: Crowd violence delays match for 30 minutes, Ghana defeats Equatorial Guinea ]

Ghana has won four Africa Cup of Nations titles, but the last of those championships came in 1982. Ivory Coast has won the tournament once before in 1992, when they defeated Ghana in the finals.

Ivory Coast reaches the finals after cruising to a 3-1 win over surprise semifinalist DR Congo, while Ghana handed host nation Equatorial Guinea a 3-0 loss in their final four matchup.

[ RELATED: Ivory Coast cruises into final with 3-1 win over DR Congo ]

Ghana’s semifinal match was marred by crowd violence, which caused a delay of over 30 minutes before play could be resumed. Despite all the events, players looked in good spirits after the match and will be eager to set their focus on the finals.

Below we take a quick look at the two sides as we count down the days to the final. Stay up to date with all your latest Africa Cup of Nations news right here at PST.

FIFA World Ranking:

Ivory Coast: 28
Ghana: 37

2015 AFCON results:

Ivory Coast:
1-1 draw vs. Guinea
1-1 draw vs. Mali
1-0 win vs. Cameroon
3-1 win vs. Algeria
3-1 win vs. DR Congo

Ghana:
1-2 loss vs. Senegal
1-0 win vs. Algeria
2-1 win vs. South Africa
3-0 win vs. Guinea
3-0 win vs. Equatorial Guinea

Premier League players:

Ivory Coast: Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Wilfried Bony (Manchester City)

Ghana: Christian Atsu (Everton), Kwesi Appiah (Crystal Palace)

Player to watch:

Ivory Coast: Gervinho
The Roma striker was shown a red card in Ivory Coast’s opening match, and was suspended for the final two games of the group stage. In his two matches back, the former Arsenal man has scored twice. Gervinho is quick and crafty, and will surely be looking to avenge his missed penalty kick in the 2012 AFCON finals, which Ivory Coast lost to Zambia.

Ghana: Asamoah Gyan
The Black Stars’ captain and all-time leading goalscorer is already one of the greatest African players ever. He has scored at three World Cups and seemingly always finds that clutch goal for his side. Gyan rested an injury during the semifinal match, but expect the skipper to be in full force for the finals.

Africa Cup of Nations roundup: Gyan saves Ghana, Senegal goes atop Group C

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After two matches the standings in Group C are tight heading into the final round of group play, with Senegal holding the top spot just ahead of Ghana and Algeria.

Group C table:
Senegal — 4 pts
Ghana — 3 pts
Algeria — 3 pts
South Africa — 1 pts

Ghana 1-0 Algeria

Ghana welcomed back their all-time leading goalscorer as Asamoah Gyan returned from illness to score a stoppage-time winner for the Black Stars. Gyan missed the Ghana’s opening match while fighting off a mild case of malaria but looked in great health as he played the full 90 minutes for Avram Grant’s side. Neither side created many clear-cut chances, but Gyan has a knack for scoring in big games and continues to produce on the international stage.

[ WATCH: Asamoah Gyan scores late winner for Ghana ]

After the match, Avram Grant praised the talents of his captain.

Asamoah Gyan was not fit – he didn’t train like he needed to – but he’s Asamoah Gyan, if you look at the stats and his behavior in the dressing room.

You know I have been coach of some of the great players – he’s one of the greatest. First – he always scores when you need him. Second – he’s good for the spirit of the team – he’s a very good captain.”

[ RELATED: Thursday’s Africa Cup of Nations roundup ]

South Africa 1-1 Senegal

South Africa blew another lead today as Senegal came from behind to earn a draw against Bafana Bafana. Oupa Manyisa scored just a minute into the second half to put South Africa ahead and it appeared Southampton’s Sadio Mane had leveled for Senegal, only to have his goal ruled offside. However, Kara Mbodji connected with a header in the 60th minute, as Senegal go clear at the top of Group C. They can now advance with a draw against Algeria in the final match of group play.

Saturday’s matches:

Ivory Coast vs. Mali
Cameroon vs. Guinea