26.06.2006 Football News

Black Stars/Brazil clash create mixed reactions among fans

Ghanaian Fans jubilatingGhanaian Fans jubilating
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Football fans in Kumasi have expressed mixed reactions in view of the impending Ghana's Black Stars clash with defending World champions, Brazil at the one-sixteenth stage of the on-going FIFA World cup tournament in Germany.

The Black Stars placed second in Group 'E' and will lock horns with the Brazilians who topped Group 'F' at Dortmund on Tuesday.

Ghana's Black Stars defied the odds when they qualified to the next stage of the tournament on Thursday alongside Italy in a group which had the Czhek Republic and USA, who are second and fifth placed fifth placed respectively in the FIFA World rankings.

A cross section of football enthusiasts who spoke to the GNA Sports in Kumasi were cautiously optimistic about the impending match and called on the players and technical team of the Black Stars to work extra hard if they were to qualify to the quarter-finals.

Desmond Otuo-Tuffour, a sports analyst, said, "We should endeavour to find loopholes in the Brazilian team so as to take advantage of them when we encounter them".

He stressed the need for the Stars to tackle the match with seriousness and not be complacent even when in the lead since the Brazilians were slippery and also had clinical finishers.

Whilst commending the Black Stars' coach Ratomir Dujkovic for the confidence he has reposed in Habib Mohammed and Shilla Illiasu, all local-based players, Otuo-Tuffour expressed the hope that they would be retained in the titanic match in order to strengthen Ghana's defence.

Grace Beauty-Ade, a second-year building technology student of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), admitted that even though the Brazilians were noted for their swift counter-attack, the Stars have good defenders to halt their moves.

"We must however not be so much worried if Brazil up sets the Black Stars since they have a high pedigree in football", she told the GNA Sports.

Police Sergeant Alex Aidoo-Mends of the Mamponteng Police Station in the Kwabre district of Ashanti, who predicted an uncomprising match between the two sides, was optimistic that the Stars will run away with a narrow win.

Dogo Moro, former player of the Black Stars and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, indicated that the Black Stars should take advantage of their encounter with Brazil and demonstrate to the rest of the world that African football has come of age.

Whilst predicting a resounding victory for the Stars, Dogo Moro entreated the team to avoid complacency at all stages of the match.

The Black Stars are expected to pitch strength against five times World Champions Brazil without midfield dynamo, Michael Essien whose bookable offence in their match against the USA automatically ruled him out of Tuesday's match.

In spite of this development, both players and the technical team of the Stars have given the assurance that they will prove equal to the difficult task ahead.

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