It may be early days but it seems Ghana have unearthed another scoring sensation with the stellar display of Eric Ayiah so far at the Total U-17 African Cup of Nations Gabon 2017.
Ayiah has scored an impressive five goals in two matches after grabbing a hat trick in Black Starlets’ 4-0 win against Cameroon last Sunday as well as a brace in the 5-0 defeat of Gabon on Wednesday.
“Football is not only about scoring goals, it is also winning and I’m happy that we are winning our matches here in Gabon,” Ayiah, who doubles as captain for Black Starlets told CAFOnline.com
He continued: “I feel so good about the goals I have scored so far in this competition but I want to thank my teammates for the support because this is all about team’s effort.”
In front of the goal post, Ayiah is cool, calm and collected but the Charity FC of Ghana striker said his game has gone under a lot of transformation under the guidance of coach Samuel Fabian who is seen like a father figure by these Ghanaian youngsters.
“I have learned so much from our coach (Samuel Fabian) because in the beginning, I was not doing well but he told me to always calm down especially when I’m in front of the goals and I’m happy everything is working well now,” explained Ayiah, who wears shirt No.6 even as a striker.
“I’m a striker but I love the No. 6 jersey because I was born on March 6, 2000 and it is also the Independence Day of Ghana, that’s why I love the No.6”
Ayiah is not different from many aspiring footballers who wishes to follow on the footsteps of their idols and there was so much enthusiasm on his face as he revealed his two favourites.
“I love strikers and my favourites are Ronaldo of Portugal and Real Madrid; and Asamoah Gyan of Black Stars,” noted Ayiah who is the 6th and last born in a family with five other children. “I like Ronaldo because of his seriousness on the field, he always wants to score and win; and I like Gyan for his fighting spirit and because he is the captain of our national team, Black Stars.”
As the captain of the Black Starlets, Ayiah is leading by example with his goals partly the reason why Ghana have qualified for the semi-final stage of the Total U-17 AFCON as well as securing one of the continent’s available four tickets to the forthcoming FIFA U-17 Wold Cup to be hosted in India later this year.
“I’m so happy with our victory against Gabon because it has taken us to the semi-final and the Wold Cup,” he stressed. “It was difficult initially with the crowd cheering on Gabon but coach told us to calm down and we communicated that to ourselves and we got the energy to win.”
After signing off from Port Gentil with two wins in as many matches, Ayiah sounded so confident about the upcoming last Group A match between Ghana and Guinea on Saturday at the Stade de l’Amitie in Libreville, saying the Black Starlets want to keep their winning streak.
“No match is easy but I’m sure we can also beat Guinea; and that is what we are going to do,” added, Ayiah who says his staying power is prayers and Ghanaian staple food, Fufu with palm nut soup.