Ghana coach Goran Stevanovic has defended his substitutions in yesterday's opener against Botswana.
The Serbian has been criticized for withdrawing a lively Andre Ayew and his younger brother Jordan in the slim 1-0 win.
"This competition will be very long and difficult and as such I want to protect my players. Dede and Jordan took a lot of kicking and so I wanted to protect them for the next game," the former Partizan Belgrade boss said.
"I always say to my players that the team who will win this tournament is the one with 20 good players.
"We prepare for our next game and so we need to think about our opponent with the rest of the players in mind."
The Black Stars play Mali on Saturday in the second Group D match.