Soccer News Wed, 25 Jun 2014
The coach of the Black Stars, Kwesi Appiah, says he was not in the least surprised at the backlash from home on the back of Ghana’s poor start to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.The Black Stars were on the verge of picking a point in their tournament opener against the USA until they conceded an 86th minute goal to lose 2-1. And surely, an equalizer conceded on 71 minutes after Ghana had gone 2-1 up against Germany hasn’t exactly been the sweetest thing that happened to the Black Stars at the 2014 World Cup.
Having lived in Ghana for so long and having played for the national team in the past, Appiah knew exactly what he was up against in the wake of the opening two fixtures.
"Once you've lost the game, you don't expect people to praise you. In Ghana, we have 25 million coaches, so you should expect to be criticised,” said the former Asante Kotoko defender.
Appiah made history in 2013 when he became the first local coach to qualify the Black Stars for a World Cup tournament and may well be the first indigenous coach to lead the Stars into the knock-out stage of the competition if Ghana should sneak out of Group G.
Meanwhile, Coach Appiah has pencilled down Cristiano Ronaldo as the man to stop if Ghana should stand a chance of progressing past the group stage.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s game, Kwesi Appiah revealed his awareness of the possible threats of the current Balon d’Or holder on Ghana’s aspirations.
"Ronaldo is the best player in the world and everyone recognises that,” Appiah said.
“It's important that we don't allow him to have his own way in the game because he will always punish you. We will plan this after watching the rest of the games,” he added.
Ghana takes on the Selecao of Portugal at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia in a must-win encounter on Thursday with both teams tied on a point apiece. With Germany and the USA at the summit of the table with 4 points each, nothing short of a victory would improve the Black Stars chance of making it out of the ‘Group of death’.