Nigeria plot Ghana downfall

Super Eagles say they have the confidence and the game plan to shoot for the Stars.

    Nigeria coach Berti Vogts, centre, is confident that his team can cause Ghana's Black Stars to fall [AFP]

    The match, which will be played at the Ohene Djan Stadium in the nation's capital, features a host of well known players from the English Premier League, with Ghana's Michael Essien coming up against his fellow Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi.
     
    There is also a strong Portsmouth contingent with the home side's Sulley Muntari meeting club teammates Nwankwo Kanu and John Utaka in the Nigerian team.
     

    "It's going to be Black Sunday for the Stars."

    Peterside Idah,
    Nigeria media officer

    "Both sides may have them but I've got the best Chelsea and Portsmouth players," Claude Le Roy, Ghana coach, boasted.
     
    Nigeria go in to the match buoyed by newfound confidence after progressing from a largely disappointing group stage where their only win, and only goals, came in a 2-0 win over lowly Benin in their final first round match.
     
    That result left Berti Vogts' Super Eagles as Group B runners-up behind high-flying Ivory Coast.
     
    Ghana finished Group A as leaders after three straight wins, saving the best for their final win over Morocco, with Essien scoring one and setting up Muntari.
     
    Gyan a go-go for Ghana
     

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    "All Nigerian sides are strong, but I'm confident, I'm always confident in life," added Le Roy, who guided Cameroon to the 1988 title.
     
    "There's great team spirit in my side, and I believe they have the quality to go all the way."
     
    Ghana's only injury worry concerns striker Asamoah Gyan, who is nursing a slight groin strain which forced him to train apart from the team on Thursday and Friday.
     
    "I haven't trained with the team for two days now but I think I'll be fit to play on Sunday," said the 22-year-old Udinese forward.
     
    Junior Agogo, who has regained health after feeling unwell on Thursday, predicts sparks will fly on Sunday.
     
    "There's going to be a lot of passion, a lot of hard tackling, but we're ready, the boys are buzzing to get the game started," the in-form Nottingham Forest player said.
     
    Shooting for the Stars
     

    "We have the game plan that will ensure that we prick the eyes of the Stars to gather enough clouds to cover their glitter."

    Austin Eguavoen,
    Nigeria assistant coach

    Laryea Kingston returns for the Black Stars after sitting out the Morroco game through a one-match ban, but while Ghana are at full strength, Nigeria will be without influential winger Peter Osaze Odemwingie due to suspension.
     
    A positive for the Super Eagles is that Kanu, a veteran of five Nations Cups, has recovered from a knock he picked up in the defeat by Ivory Coast.
     
    "We still can't believe that we have qualified for the quarter-finals because we had all given up until the unexpected happened last Tuesday," said Kanu.
     
    Austin Eguavoen, Nigeria assistant coach, opted for a poetic summary of the game.
     
    "We have the game plan that will ensure that we prick the eyes of the Stars to gather enough clouds to cover their glitter."
     
    The triumphant team from the match in Accra will book a place in the semi-finals against the winner of the quarter-final between Tunisia and Cameroon.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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