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30.05.2006 Football News

Dujkovic impressed with Stars

By Staff Writer
Dujkovic impressed with Stars

Ghana's thrashing of Jamaica in a friendly yesterday has prompted Black Stars coach Ratomir Dujkovic to insist that his team is improving ahead of World Cup finals.

Dujkovic after watching the Black Stars beat the Reggae Boyz 4-1 at the Walkers stadium in Leicester on Monday remains hopeful of Ghana's chances at next month's soccer fiesta.

The win was the Black Stars first in five friendly ties after the African Cup of Nations earlier this year.

"We are getting better each game and by the time of the World Cup we will be ready to beat any team."

The Black Stars got off to a perfect start in yesterday's game when Sulley Muntari pounced on a loose ball on five minutes after Jamaican keeper Donovan Ricketts could only parry a shot from distance.

In the 19th minute, Stephen Appiah's volley cannoned off Jamaica defender Damien Stewart's head and was powerfully diverted past his own goalkeeper.

With a tight defence built around AS Roma's Sammy Osei Kuffour and John Mensah, Ghana rarely looked likely to concede for most of the opening period.

On 58 minutes, Shane Crawford's long-range free kick was not dealt with, allowing Jason Euell to convert from close range.

Jamaica looked capable of getting something from the game, but their hopes were dashed when Ghana scored twice in two minutes midway through the half.

Firstly an Appiah right-foot drive ended up in the back of the net then Matthew Amoah made it 4-1 after Ricketts spilled another shot.

The Black Stars' improved scoring rate has impressed Dujkovic who says he is getting to know his team for the group E opener against Italy on June 12 in Hannover.

"Every match is important and with the World Cup so close it is important to get the sharpness in the team.

"I'm 80 percent sure of the players who I want for the first game against Italy (on June 12)," Dujkovic said.

Ghana are in Group E in Germany with the Czech Republic, the United States and Italy.

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