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Themba Hadebe, Associated Press
Ghana's soccer player Asamoah Gyan, right, with teammate Andre Ayew, left, during their training in Ngouoni, 45km outside Franceville, Gabon, Friday Jan. 27, 2012. Ghana will play their African Cup of Nations Group D soccer match against Mali on Saturday Jan. 28, 2012.

FRANCEVILLE, Gabon — Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan says he has no problem being a marked man at the African Cup of Nations. In fact, he thrives on it.

Gyan said his role as a lone striker for the Black Stars "shows how great I am" and shrugged off suggestions that opponents would be able to blunt Ghana's attacking threat by closing him down.

The 26-year-old forward scored the opener from a sublime free kick in Ghana's impressive 2-0 win over Mali to take control of Group D, then said afterward "if you try to take me out the game, I can punish you by scoring."

The confident, colorful Gyan — who sports his No. 3 in yellow dye on the side of his head — added: "Everybody playing against Ghana will be going against Asamoah Gyan ... If somebody comes for me, I think this is a great thing."