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22.03.2009 Football News

Ghana Coach Laments John Mensah's Loss For World Cup Clash

By Samm Audu, Goal
John Mensah of GhanaJohn Mensah of Ghana

If there is one man the Black Stars would very much want to be a part of Sunday's tie against visiting Benin, it is their injured centre-back...

Ghana host Benin in the opening Group 4 match at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, but they will be without key stars mainly due to injury.

One such player is John Mensah, the Olympique Lyon defender, who has been struggling with as series of niggling thigh and calf problems.

“It's a pity because Mensah is not available. It's difficult to find his replacement," revealed Milovan Rajevac.

"[Laryea] Kingston played in the best position in the middle when we played Egypt but now he is injured. He was great and it would have been good to have them around.

"[Junior] Agogo is not playing, [Haminu] Dramani has changed clubs and the Russian league hasn't started yet. Quincy [Owusu-Abeyie] also changed to Cardiff [City] but hasn't established himself yet. I am counting on them to come back to where they belong.

"The absent ones will be back but until then, the ones available have a duty. The new players would prove themselves with the regulars.”

Hoffenheim's Isaac Vorsah is now expected to replace Mensah in the heart of a Ghana defence to be marshalled by Roda JC ace Eric Addo.

The Serbian coach said he expects the Black Stars to get off to a winning start on Sunday.

“The support will be there and we will have to give our maximum. After that [Benin] game, everything will be clearer," he said.

“It's only after the game that we can concentrate on the other games but this is the first game and it's very important.”

The other Group 4 match will involve a visit by Mali to Sudan on Saturday.

By: Samm Audu, Goal