Soccer News of Wed, 25 Jun 201443
Black Stars in battle of destiny
Now it is for real that Ghana's advance to the Round of 16 at the World Cup in Brazil is not entirely in the hands of the Black Stars, but by what Joachim Loew and Juergen Klinsman craft.
Whether the Stars beat Portugal by a thousand goals tomorrow in Brasilia, it will count for less or nothing provided something dramatic happens in the other group match between the USA and Germany to be played simultaneously in Recife.
The truth of the matter is that win or lose, the Germans are in pole position for a second round assault, which doubly will be cemented with just a draw. A draw also means a largesse for the USA to accompany them to the next round, leaving Ghana and Portugal stranded.
Therefore, the convenience of a drawn game in Recife is very much speculated long before now.
It will be friendship or relationship and not football that will be on display in that game, which is why FIFA's eyes must tacitly be glued to what is suspected will be a friendly match between the two German coaches in charge of Germany and the USA respectively.
Remember, Loew in charge of Germany now was the assistant to Klinsman when the Germans hosted the 2006 World Cup, and became the substantive for the 2010 tournament in South Africa when Klinsman changed course for the American job, which he landed only after 2010.
It is against this backdrop that the Stars enter the Estadio Mane Garrincha Nacional in Brasilia tomorrow knowing that they only have to concentrate and focus on their own match.
The Stars have more at stake in their match which they have to win to avoid the unpleasant winless situation at this tournament.
Apart from that, skipper Asamoah Gyan is on the verge of setting a new mark of six or more goals as Africa's highest goalscorer at the mundial if he finds the net in tomorrow's match. Apparently fired up, he told his colleagues: "We should go all out because a draw will not be enough for us".
But going all out also means being focused and not entertaining any distractions which, for Coach Kwasi Appiah, could come in the shape of giving Cristiano Ronaldo too much respect and unnecessary attention. Kwasi's antidote to the Ronaldo menace is that he expects his players to play as a team and not to be individualistic.