Nice to have a superstar

What can you say about Asamoah Gyan? Ghana's talismanic skipper dragged himself off his sickbed to score a vital injury time winner for the Black Stars in their must win Group C clash against fancied Algeria.

Ghana coach Avram Grant must have been left thinking that it's nice to have a superstar when  you really need one.

After the game he waxed lyrical, saying Asamoah Gyan is "one of the greatest players" he has ever worked with.

"Asamoah Gyan was not fit - he didn't train like he needed to - but he's Asamoah Gyan.

"First - he always scores when you need him, and he's good for the spirit of the team; he's a very good captain."

Grant revealed after the game that his talismanic skipper, who plays for Al Ain in the United Arab Emirates, had been far from fit coming into the match - having suffered from malaria.

Gyan's goal lit up what had been a dire contest on a bobbly surface in Mongomo.

Gyan missed his side's opening 2-1 defeat to Senegal after being admitted to hospital last weekend with a mild bout of malaria, but he was brought straight back into the team against Algeria. Despite appearing shattered, he remained on the pitch for the whole game and showed great pace and strength to net the goal that clinched a precious 1-0 Group C win in Mongomo.

"I have coached some of the great players - and he's one of the greatest," said the former Chelsea boss.

The former Israel, Portsmouth and West Ham boss managed Ivory Coast legend Didier Drogba, former Germany midfielder Michael Ballack and England's Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge.

Grant's praise was echoed by Ghana's Everton winger Christian Atsu - who reiterated Gyan's importance to the team.

"We always believe in him - any time he's in the game we have the confidence to play," said Atsu.

Gyan has now scored for Ghana in each of the 10 major tournaments he has played in since the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations - and has scored in his last six games for his country.

His strike against the Desert Foxes saw him equal Osei Kofi's all-time Ghana record of seven Africa Cup of Nations goals.

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