The Black Stars of Ghana will face the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia in the round of 16 stage of the ongoing African Cup of Nations in Egypt today.
Despite starting their campaign on a nervous note the Black Stars ended on top of Group F to book the Eagle clash.
The qualification has in a way influenced opinion of the fans who, hitherto, remained unconvinced about the Stars’s chances of winning the trophy to end the 37-year drought.
What appears to have boosted the confidence of the fans is the impressive statistics of the Black Stars in matches against Tunisia.
Out of the seven times they have played, the Black Stars have won six times with the Carthage Eagles managing just a draw.
But instead of considering it as another straightforward victory for the Ghanaians, a section of fans believe otherwise, insisting that the Stars must thread with caution.
Speaking to the Times Sports in separate interviews, they expressed belief in the team’s ability to overcome the Tunisians but found assertions of the team winning the competition a bit premature.
Below are samples of views from the fans regarding today’s game of the Black Stars against the Carthage Eagles.
Ivan Abusah, football enthusiast
The Black Stars have played very well so far but generally lacked consistency.
I think Coach Kwesi Appiah has also struggled to identify his best starting team but despite that the team has given a good account of themselves.
Kwadwo Asamoah and Asamoah Gyan should be added to the starting team for every match to be played by the Black Stars from now. I think it will improve our goal scoring ability especially against Tunisia.
Production Operator, GIHOC Distilleries
I knew the Black Stars would qualify but not under that difficult circumstances.
If they play the way they did in their last match against Guinea Bissau they will go far in the tournament.
John Boye, Wakaso and Andre Ayew have played exceptionally in this tournament so far and they would have to sustain that performance against Tunisia.
Tunisia has not done so well but they still represent a formidable side to hurt us so we must thread with caution.
Nene Kabutey, Civil Servant
Even though I am not confident about the Black Stars, I think they have played well in this tournament. I think their focus is more on money that winning the cup but I will still give them the benefit of the doubt.
The real journey starts today so if they want us to believe in them, they must put up an impressive display to beat Tunisia and progress.
They have to be cautious as well avoid some of the elementary mistakes they commit at the back especially John Boye and Baba Rahman.
George Nasty, Mason
Even though the Black Stars have qualified, I don’t think they have what it takes to win the competition, hence, the reason I am not supporting them whole-heartedly.
They need to be at their best against Tunisia today. That will define their fate in the competition. Some people think it will be an easy task but it won’t be so because they will also be thinking about halting the negative trend against us so the Stars must be careful.
Janvy Jay, Student
The next match against Tunisia is a sure win for the Black Stars. At this stage of the competition, every team will give its best to stay and that is why Ghana must play well. Jonathan Mensah is the only player that has impressed me so far despite playing just one match.
I wish he is paired with Nuhu Adams and Boye benched so the defence will be more focused at the back and keep an eagle eye on their slippery attackers.
The Black Stars have no reason to be over confident because they are also struggling like the Tunisians; that’s why I see it as a match of equals.
Patient Akpese, Civil Servant
I do not really like watching the Black Stars play but definitely the first person to come out and jubilate when a goal is scored is me. So I actually wish them all the best and hope to have more of such moments to come out and shout when I hear people scream goal.
Tunisia will not be an easy side at all for the Ghanaians. Despite not playing well, I think luck has also in a way eluded them.
We should pray it continues like that for them for us to have a good win.
Vivian Ampah, Graduate
I pray for the Black Stars all the time and somehow thought they won the last game because God answered my prayers. Going forward, I will still pray for them again and hope they win the subsequent matches and also win the trophy in the end.
It promises to be a good game and I’m sure the Black Stars would make us proud.
They must also eschew any form of complacency resulting from reported statistics against Ghana.
The Carthage Eagles remain a very strong opposition we must wary of if we want to negotiate our way carefully to the final.
BY CHARLOTTE NETTEY