2014 FIFA WC: Ghana desperate to sustain campaign (Preview)

Natal, Brazil (PANA) - Ghana goes into its third group game against Portugal at the Estadio Du Nacionale Du Brasilia in Brazil Thursday in a desperate attempt to sustain its campaign in the 2014 FIFA World Cup by progressing to the next round.

Having grabbed just a point from two matches, the Black Stars risk a first round elimination, which will be the first since their participation in the competition in 2006, as anything less than a 2-0 win will definitely see them out.
However, the 2-0 score line may still not be enough to see their progress to the next stage, as much will depend on the outcome of the game between the US and Germany, where there are talks of German conspiracy following the presence of Joachim Loew and Jurgen Klinsman.
For the Black Stars, they have given strong indications that they will give their all in the game against the Portuguese to ensure they remain in the competition.
Captain Asamoah Gyan said in an interview that the team is capable of beating any side in the competition, and will go all out against Portugal.
“We have in previous matches dropped our guards and lost concentration which caused us dearly. In our next game we hope to guard against that and pick the three maximum points at stake,” Gyan said.
In a similar vein, the Portuguese needs a similar big win over Ghana to habour any chance of progress in the competition and this makes the game a cagey one for both sides.
Portugal's coach Paulo Bento summed it in an interview, saying “Not just because of what we’ll need to do against Ghana, but also because we’ll need a favourable result from the Germany-United States game.
“Now all we can do is to give everything in our very last game and try and make the most of the very little chance that we have left,” Bento stated.
Aside the pressure on Ghana to score at least two unanswered goals, the Stars will be struggling with the absence of Sulley Muntari, who has been phenomenal in two previous games, but coach Kwesi Appiah has given hints of finding a quality replacement for the AC Milan star.
With the exception of Muntari, coach Appiah is likely to rely on the same set of players who played against Germany for the game against Portugal, since observation at the training camp does not exhibit any desire for a change in line up.
Portugal as usual will be counting on the power, skill and strength of Cristiano Ronaldo to fetch the desired results against Ghana, but coach Appiah insists he has no special plan for him but will approach the Portuguese as a team and will not focus on an individual.
This does not take away the Ronaldo factor and influence, and he remains one of the few players to be watched by the Ghana defence, taking into consideration his pedigree.
-0- PANA WIL/SEG 17June2014        

25 june 2014 15:01:31

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