Stars must break Bafana today

SmhBlack Stars manager, Avram Grant is calling for an all guns blazing attitude ahead of this evening’s decider against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in a final Group ‘c’ push in the ongoing Equatorial Guinea 2015 AFCON.

The Israeli coach insists every player in the Stars camp is fired up to show the South Africans an exit from the competition and would begin that quest from the first sound of the referee’s whistle.

Perched at the bottom of the group, only a win can resurrect the hopes of the Bafana Bafana chaps as far as advancement in the competition was concerned.

But Ghana’s Stars face a similar situation despite recording three points from their first two matches, making the tie a do-or-die affair for the two sides.

Build up to the vital clash has seen the two sides experience contrasting fortunes which would go a long way to define their fate in the competition.

Grant has said nothing has been firmed up yet in the group even knowing a draw in the worse scenario could land the Ghanaians in the quarter finals depending on the outcome of the other group clash between Senegal and Algeria.

Luckily, the return of skipper Asamoah Gyan seemed to have lifted the team’s confidence and that was evident in their performance against the Desert Foxes on Friday.

Gyan together with Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew, Christian Atsu and others would be available again to face the South Africans who are not hearing positive stories.

Coach Shakes Mashaba will miss his pillar in defense, Thulani Hlatshwayo who was substituted early in the first half of the second group stage game against Senegal after a clash of heads.

Mashaba would hope that his replacement, Ayanda Gcaba would be up to the task of applying the brakes in Ghana’s attackers.

Rivaldo Coetzee is also expected to be passed fit for the match. If he does, that would motivate the Bafana Bafana who looks very confident of overcoming the not so impressive Ghanaians who until the win against Algeria were considered very ordinary.

Interestingly, players from both camps have sounded very optimistic about the chances, meaning the usual favourite tags Ghana enjoys over her opponent would be missing this time as both sides appear equal in strength.

But Ghana seem to be ahead in terms of experience and that is what they bring to bear on the game against the very inexperienced South Africans, most of which played in the local league.

However, their ability to kick Nigeria out of the qualifiers meant they have the wherewithal to match any opponent but then they would need to improve the performance at the back including the goalkeeping role.

They may have speed on their side but could pay dearly if they leave the defense open because Asamoah would pose a serious threat and danger which ramifications they may fail to recover from.

By Andrew Nortey

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