John Mensah has issued a bullish call to arms ahead of the remaining matches in the qualifying for the 2012 African Cup of Nations by asking his colleagues not to be distracted by the home draw with Sudan.
The Ghana captain saw the Black Stars labour to a 0-0 draw at the Baba Yara Stadium on Sunday in the second Group I game amid criticisms of their performance.
But the defender says the team would show renewed ambition to challenge for a qualifying place when the campaign resumes in March 2010 with an away game against Congo in Brazzaville.
“I have told the players that there are matches ahead and therefore we will not be distracted by the outcome of last weekend’s match [game against Sudan],” the Black Stars captain said in Accra.
Ghana’s frustrations on the day were capped by the dismissal of striker Asamoah Gyan with 10 minutes to end proceedings.
But Mensah has leapt to the defence of his teammate for both club and country insisting that that the striker’s actions were not intentional though he blames Sudanese goalkeeper Mahmond El Moiz for simulation.
Gyan was sent off by South African referee Jerome Damon after an incident with the Sudanese goalkeeper.
“It was not intentional but these things happen in football. But it is lesson for us all,” he said.
The draw left Ghana on four points apiece with Sudan from their opening two games, while Congo has three and Swaziland are yet to pick a point with the qualifiers set to continue next year.
The 2012 African Cup of Nations will be co-hosted by Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea.