Ghana hopes to make history at Soccer City

Friday, July 2, 2010

Durban - Ghana will be looking to rewrite history books when they take on Uruguay on Friday in a quarter-final clash at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Having already equalled Africa's best-ever World Cup performance, the Black Stars, will want to deny Uruguay a place in the semi-final for the first time in 40 years.

Cameroon and Senegal reached the quarterfinals in 1990 and 2002, respectively.

It is expected that Soccer City will once again come alive at 20:30, when the two times World Cup winners battle with a country that is carrying the hope of an entire continent.

This is the third time that Uruguay has made the quarter-finals and join rivals Brazil and Argentina in the final eight, having won the World Cup in 1930 and 1950.

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac is only too aware of the pressure his youthful side is under but feels they can deal with it.

The Black Stars beat Serbia in their opening match, drew with Australia and lost to Germany before sending the USA home to reach the quarterfinals.

Under Rajevac's leadership, the Africans have reached the African Cup of Nations finals.

The Serbian has built a strong midfield despite losing talisman Michael Essien to a right knee injury before the start of the tournament.

In addition, Rajevac was instrumental in creating one of Africa's most formidable defence outfits.

Uruguay was forced to look into their tactics after kicking off their campaign with a draw against France.

Coach Oscar Tabarez opted for an attacking formation resulting in Diego Forlan playing behind Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani and Ghana will be very aware of this attacking threat.

Forlan scored twice in their three nil victory against hosts, South Africa.

Suarez's goal against Mexico and double strike against South Korea have resulted in two victories for Uruguay that saw them to the last eight.

Mauricio Victorino will come in for Diego Godin - the defender injured his thigh against South Korea and in the midfield Alvaro Fernandez will replace for Alvaro Perreira.

Jonathan Mensah and Andre Ayew will not feature in Ghana's starting line-up due to their suspensions.

The good news is that Asamoah Gyan, who scored three out of four goals for Ghana in the 2010 edition of the competition, is expected to recover from an ankle injury on time.

Kevin-Prince Boateng is also likely to make an appearance for Ghana on Friday.

Meanwhile, the Gauteng Provincial Government has kicked off a mobilisation campaign to drum up support for the Ghanaian national team.

The campaign, which kicked off on Wednesday at Berea in Johannesburg, moved to Sunnyside in Pretoria on Thursday, and on today the campaign will target Yeoville in Johannesburg.

Mobilisation efforts will take the format of a formal programme, where messages of support from the Premier, MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation will be delivered, handing out of pamphlets, distribution of flags and live entertainment.