Ghana

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If england was undone by the ‘hand of god’ in 1986, Ghana was vanquished by the ‘hand of devil’ in 2010. The Black Stars’ fairytale progress to the quarterfinals in South Africa (where they fell to Uruguay and Luis Suarez’s antics) was the high point of African football, and the team is confident of repeating the trick in Brazil. In a group packed with Germany, Portugal (and the US), that may seem like overconfidence, but don’t bet against Kwesi Appiah’s men springing a surprise or two. Of course, age has caught up with the majestic Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, whose energy levels are a far cry from what they used to be. Expect Mohammed Rabiu to replace one of the ageing stars in the starting line-up to shore the midfield. At 24, Rabiu is a tireless runner and a neat tackler. Kevin Prince-Boateng will supply the style and link-up play, while the quick and technically impressive Christian Atsu will be the one to watch out for in the flanks. Appiah has some tough choices to make in the defensive department. Upfront, Asamoah Gyan has been scoring goals for fun, albeit in the relatively easier environs of the United Arab Emirates.

 

ghana

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