The Black Stars launched their campaign by giving up a two-goal lead to settle for a 2-2 with DR Congo last Sunday, and Appiah has tasked his players to remain focused throughout for the next game which will define their continuous stay at the tournament.
Mali are the only team in the Group with a win and Appiah expects a stiffer test from Les Aigles who can move closer with any result other than loss. The Ghana trainer is very much aware of the Malians reliance on captain Seydou Keita, a veteran of five Africa Cup of Nations and is plotting an antidote to neutralise the effect of the 33-year old.
“All teams are good and we cannot afford to underrate any team. The fact that a team is qualified here means they have something to offer.
“Keita is an experienced player and so are other members of the Ghana team. They showed potential against Niger and we must brace up for them.”
Appiah is unperturbed in what will mark the third encounter between the two teams in less than a year at the same tournament, and insists the maximum points remain their target. Ghana beat Mali at the group phase before the latter inflicted a 2-0 win over the former to claim bronze at the 2012 edition held in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
“Our concentration is on the Mali game and we are on course for it. We have to prepare well and approach the game with all the urgency.”
The good news for Ghana is that well-built central defender Isaac Vorsah is expected to make a return at the heart of defence after missing out on the opening encounter against the Leopards.
“Vorsah has started training and will be available for selection,” Appiah said of the Austria-based defender.
However, the Black Stars will still be without youngster Richmond Boakye-Yiadom, who has yet to recover fully from an injury sustained during the team’s pre-tournanment camping in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Niger will square DR Congo in the other Group B match also at the same venue