Soccer News of Thu, 26 Jun 201412
Black Stars ready for battle against Portugal
The Black Stars enter the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia this afternoon against the din of the agitation over their appearance fee which rocked the camp in Maceio last Tuesday.
Whatever venom they might have had left in them following the money palava is expected to be unleashed against Portugal in this last must-win group match.
It will be nothing short of injustice for the Stars to fail to win a game at this tournament after having acquitted themselves so well in the previous two matches yet ended up with a 2-1 loss to the USA and a 2-2 draw with Germany.
It is why Coach Kwasi Appiah must have felt let down by agitation over the appearance fee which, doubtless, momentarily rocked the focus of the entire team with some of the players sitting out of training last Saturday.
Issues came to a head such that Coach Appiah had to admit that Kevin-Prince Boateng sat out after an altercation with him, but after the training, both coach and player shook hands to, as it were, let sleeping dogs lie.
Sulley Muntari was said to have led the agitation of the "notorious three," the other name officials were not too sure about. But regrettably, Muntari, whose second yellow card in the match against Germany made him ineligible for today's match, should have allowed the entire team some grace.
However, in spite of the bad situation Coach Appiah might have found himself, he is raring to go. "This is a bad situation for any coach to have found himself, but l have resolved and implored all the players to put this behind us for the important assignment ahead of us," he told a press conference in Brasilia yesterday.
Young star, Christian Atsu, who was with his coach at the press conference must have spoken the hearts and minds of his colleagues when he said the team had resolved to win in order not to give the impression that they lost due to the money issues which had rocked their preparation in the last few days.
So the Stars must play in a manner that can absolve them of undermining their nation went it matters most. The Asamoah Gyan-led team must see themselves as soldiers on the war front and must fight to the last blood in defence of their country no matter the challenges.
There is still a chance for Ghana to scrape through to the next round in the event of some dramatic result in the USA-Germany match apart from a draw.