The return of the Ghana Black Stars from Omdurman, Sudan unscathed, certainly will inch the West Africans closer to their second running appearance.
News from the Stars' camp in Naivasha, Kenya, suggests that the consciousness of that fact has emboldened the team to go the extra mile in tomorrow's clash. The Ghanaians, in pole position of the Group 'D' table with six points enter the game with almost the same squad that silenced their Malian counterparts before home crowd in Bamako, barely a fortnight ago.
The Stars pitched camp in Kenya's major flower-grown area –Naivasha, and their 3-0 win over a club side in a friendly endeared them to the citizenry. The goals were scored by Kwadjo Asamoah, Mathew Amoah and Michael Essien.
Fulham's full back, John Paintsil cannot respond to the national call following his two-yellow card offences in the Benin and Mali games. But his absence would not be really felt as Switzerland-bound Samuel Inkoom has proven over the months that he will execute that role with little difficulty if given the chance. Harrison Afful's superlative performance in the Hearts-Kotoko epic encounter will qualify him for the left full back position to team up with experienced stand-in captain John Mensah, Jonathan Quartey and Eric Addo to provide cover for goalkeeper Richard Kingson.
In the '70's and the early '2000's, the Sudanese rode on the back of the Stars, denying then a World and Africa Cup appearance under managers Ben Quofie and Jones Attuquayefio respectively.
However, the same cannot be said about their current squad who managed to draw 1-1 with Mali on home soil in their first game and lost 0-1 to Benin in Cotonou.
In May 28, the North East Africans suffered one of their heaviest defeats by bowing 0-4 to Tunisia's Carthage Eagles in international friendly, sending signals that if coach Milovan and his charges -like the Asamoahs, Amoahs, Prince Tagoes, Joe Tex Frimpons, Michael Essiens and others gird up their loins, they would claw all the points at stake.