Jordan Ayew achieved a remarkable dual triumph, earning his 91st cap while leading Ghana to qualification for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in a crucial match against Central African Republic (CAR) on Thursday.
The historic feat unfolded in a nervy 2-1 comeback victory at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
Ghana initially found themselves trailing when Louis Mafouta fired Central African Republic into a 25th-minute lead. However, Ayew’s leadership on the field and goals from Mohammed Kudus and Ernest Nuamah turned the tide, securing a crucial victory and Ghana’s top spot in Group E, booking their place in the 2023 Afcon.
“You know in football, sometimes it does not go the way you want. You can go one goal down, but you still have 70 minutes to play, and you have to never give up, and that was my way of thinking,” Jordan noted while reflecting on the manner of the victory.
Despite the significance of his 91st cap milestone, the 31-year-old forward emphasized his youthful vigor and determination to keep contributing to the national team, saying:
“I’m surprised [to hear about 91 caps]. I didn’t even know. It is a proud moment, it’s an achievement, and, you know, I’m still young, and I have to keep going. I feel fit, I feel strong, and I know that I still have more years to come.”
Jordan’s focus remains firmly on the future, where he envisions more opportunities to represent Ghana on the football pitch.
“I don’t think about breaking more records with Ghana – I just think about still playing my football, enjoying my football, and putting in performances,” the Crystal Palace forward shared.
Reflecting on his early start in the national team, Jordan acknowledged it as a blessing, saying:
“It’s a blessing I was able to start for the national team very early [in my career]. It’s a positive thing, and I just want to thank all the managers that were here in the past and now.”
Jordan Ayew also expressed gratitude for the trust and confidence shown in him by the various coaches throughout his international journey, saying:
“I really want to thank them for the confidence. I need to keep going because I have a lot of years ahead of me.”
After marking his 91st appearance in style with both the captain’s armband and a victorious outing that confirmed Ghana’s 24th Afcon participation at Cote d’Ivoire 2023, Jordan Ayew now stands as the fourth-most capped player in the history of the Ghana senior national team, the Black Stars.