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Ghana ready to make footballing history

sports Updated: Jul 02, 2010 10:47 IST

DPA
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Asamoah Gyan says Ghana are ready to become the first African side to make it to the semi-finals of a World Cup by beating Uruguay on Friday at Soccer City.

"All the African continent are behind us and the whole of Ghana. We know how to soak up the pressure," Gyan said in Johannesburg on Thursday ahead of the quarter-final clash.

"We have got an opportunity to put to the whole world what we are capable of doing by qualifying for the semi-finals."

The Rennes player, who has scored three goals in four matches including the winner against the United States in the Round of 16, admitted it wouldn't be easy against the South Americans, citing Uruguayan strikers Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez as the main threats.

"I've watched Uruguay and they are good defensively and for me they have the best attack in this tournament. I'm talking about Suarez and Diego Forlan."

Two years ago, Gyan was heavily criticised by Ghana fans for his performances at the Africa Cup of Nations but the striker said the world was now seeing his true ability.

"I'm still young, I'm 24 years and I've a lot of things to do in soccer. Two years ago people didn't know if I was up to this level. For me, I'm not surprised what is happening at this World Cup," he said.

"With the quality I am having, I will be going places because I am confident."

Coach Milovan Rajevac, meanwhile, said he was delighted by the support Ghana have been receiving as the only African team left in the tournament but added that the Black Stars now had to do their jobs on the pitch.

"We are the only African team left at this stage of the competition and I'm really proud of my players. I think the whole world has great respect for Ghana," he said.

"The stakes are high. We want to reach the semi-finals. It's a big day for Ghana and the whole of Africa."

Rajevac will be without Andre Ayew and Jonathan Mensah because of suspension while he will make a decision on "four or five" other players carrying injuries before the game, including Kevin-Prince Boateng and Isaac Vorsah.

Boateng is struggling with a hamstring injury but the midfielder could recover in time while Vorsah is also in with a chance of making it against Uruguay after missing Ghana's last three games with a knee injury he picked up in the opening game against Serbia.

"We have a training session tonight and will see the level of their injuries and at the final meeting tomorrow before the match we will decide who is ready and not ready to play," said Rajevac.