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Ghana seek to make World Cup history

By Ponga Liwewe in Johannesburg
Posted on Friday, 2 July 2010 13:50

President Jacob Zuma tells South African fans to be the Black Stars’ 12th man

tonight when they take on Uruguay for a place in the semi-finals.

Ghana face the prospect of making history by becoming the first African team to reach the semi-final of a World Cup when they face Uruguay tonight at Soccer City.

As the only surviving African team, the continent has rallied behind the Black Stars and even South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma has called on the nation to rise to the occasion and be the 12th man tonight.

Ghana will be missing the services of two of the team’s outstanding players, Jonathan Mensah and André Ayew, both ruled out by an accumulation of yellow cards in previous matches.

Likely to step in to fill the void in midfield is Sulley Muntari. He will have the chance to redeem himself in the eyes of Ghanaian fans after coming close to being expelled from the team’s training camp for petulance.

The Ghanaian team has been the most balanced and fittest of the African representatives. The midfield duo of Kevin Prince Boateng and Anthony Annan have proved the match of any of the world’s best midfielders and their form in today’s game is likely to be critical if Ghana are to emerge victorious.

The Black Stars’ achilles heel has been in the goal-scoring department. Asamoah Gyan has been the focal point of the Ghanaian attack, albeit in an isolated role that has seen him wage war in the frontline almost single-handedly.

Uruguay come to the match as slight favourites given their form in their previous games in South Africa. Their attack has been superbly led by Luis Suarez, whose ability to find the net has been a feature of the team’s success. Diego Forlan has worked around Suarez and wandered just between midfield and attack with a free reign to make an impact wherever he sees fit.

The view of football pundits is that either side has the potential to emerge victorious, but that the South Americans have the greater depth.

Ghana will be looking to cancel out that advantage with some astute tactical play and great endeavour to overcome Uruguay today and book their place in the history books.