Black Stars forward, Joseph Paintsil, has revealed the players were not proud of the performance they churn out during Ghana’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) campaign.
Ghana came back from Cameroon with their worst-ever performance at the continental showpiece earlier this year after picking up just one point from games against Morocco, Gabon and Comoros.
That performance drew lots of criticism from Ghanaians and Paintsil has admitted the players didn’t have it easy as well.
“The 2021 AFCON was a tough time [for the Black Stars] We had a good team but I don’t know what really happened,” he said on ‘Star Connect.’
“It is football and with football, anything can happen. We were all disappointed with what we showed [in Cameroon].
“Every player’s mindset and determination was to come out from the group stage and go to the next level but unfortunately it didn’t happen. I was disappointed, the players were all disappointed and I know Ghanaians were also disappointed.”
The AFCON saw the end of Milovan Rajevac’s tenure as head coach of the team, with Otto Addo being appointed to lead the team for the FIFA World Cup playoff game against Nigeria — A game the 24-year-old said the players were willing to win for Ghanaians after the AFCON no show.
“[Facing Nigeria] was a do-or-die game. If didn’t show anything for Ghanaians at the AFCON, then this is the moment to show them what we were capable of,” he added.
“Doing everything possible every game, especially the home game [in Kumasi] was really important for us. Also, it was really important for them to have a goal or to win. But it’s unfortunate we played 0-0, which was also good for us [going away in the next game].
“It was amazing because when he had the draw and we were going to play Nigeria, even though it was going to be a tough game, mentally the players were ready to sacrifice for the nation. Because it was the same squad from the AFCON, we knew ourselves very well so with Nigeria, through training we were just doing what we were asked to do by the coaches [regarding their weaknesses].
“We needed to come out with glory because of the AFCON performance because Ghanaians like World Cup even more than the AFCON. The World Cup is special when they hear it.”
The Black Stars went ahead to qualify ahead of the Super Eagles courtesy of a 1-1 draw in Abuja after a 0-0 stalemate at the Baba Yara Stadium.