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Posted by Gary Al-Smith on 06/27/2010

Will Gyan feel the effects of tournament fatigue? Getty Images

Getting into the quarters with Uruguay next Friday is big news. But the job is only quite beginning.

We are not out of the World Cup but I think we can look at what has served us well till now and build on it. We've been tactically disciplined. The lads have played very much to instruction under Milovan Rajevac than we've seen a Ghana team do in aeons. Sometimes they haven't liked what they've been told to do, but bottom line is we've been given results.

Even the Ghana FA acknowledges this as the President Kwesi Nyantakyi says: “having discipline dovetails into the performance of the team.” For those who think it's a joke, Nyantakyi adds that if Sulley Muntari “misbehaves again he will be thrown out.”

From the Serbia game in the beginning to the draw with the Aussies and the loss to Oezil's Germany, nobody has found us easy to break down. I think that we even should have won the Aussie game, but that's in the past.

4-4-2, and especially 4-3-2-1 has benefitted us greatly till now. Question is, as tournament fatigue sets in, are we going to see an Asamoah who will be unable to run for 90 (or 120) minutes?

Anthony Annan is midfield has been Claude Makelele all over again with his holding ability, but as was evident in the penalty we conceded against the USA, his knowledge that he is quite irreplaceable in the team is making him too cautious. Maybe John Mensah got nutmegged, but Annan was too cautious in the first place.

A look at the USA goal again.

USA 1-1 Ghana

Simão | MySpace Video

Oscar Taberez, Uruguay's coach, will exploit that. You can be sure.

That said, we need to be given the credit for the way we've conducted ourselves on the pitch. No arguing or cursing at refs, no remonstrations and such low-class behaviour. The possible exception is Andre Ayew, who takes the refs' whistle against him to personally at times. That said, we've been well behaved.

But even before then, in the Nations' Cup earlier this year, and despite the reliance on one goal wins, the defensive acumen and recovery rate of this team has been wonderful. Ghana now look like a very pliable team, who can score if we need to.

Still, we need to see more goals. Maybe we're being too demanding, but you know how it is. Like Oliver Twist, we want more.

Not just for us in Ghana, but for Africa. Gyan said after the USA win: "In 2006 we made the second round, now we have gone a step further. We've made everybody proud. Not Ghana alone, but all of Africa."

KPB injury
After giving his heart (and a tendon too!) to his new nation, Kevin-Prince sealed his loyalty with a classy finish.

USA 0-1 Ghana

Simão | MySpace Video

But, we're still biting our nails about KPB's injury sustained. He seems not too sure either, as he said:

“I don’t know if I will play in the quarter-finals, I don’t know if it is a big tear in my hamstring but I will be devastated if I’ve to leave my friends and brothers like that, but I am praying.”

So are we. Later we look at how Andre Ayew and Jonathan Mensah (suspensions) can be replaced and more.

Till then.

Follow me on twitter @garyalsmith


Posted by Kwabena on 06/29/2010

It was young JONATHAN MENSAH, and not Tony Annan who conceded that penalty. As to the suspensions, first teamer Isaac Vorsah will take his place in central defence, while our coach has to choose between Muntari, Owusu-Abeyie, Appiah and Rahm Ayew to replace Dede Ayew. I think we have things covered. Hopefully we don't give Uruguay any space, take our chances, and make more history by qualifying for the semi final

Posted by Zia Malik on 07/01/2010

InshAllah Ghana Will Win Against Uraguay . . . . .

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