Football is often said to be a game of two halves, and Ghana's Group F clash with Germany was a case in point. In the first half of their second game at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007, the Black Starlets were caught napping and quickly found themselves 3-0 down against a German side that stormed out of the starting blocks. The Ghanaians were like team transformed in the second half but their tremendous comeback was not quite enough to save a point.
That leaves the African outfit lying in third place on three points, a point behind both Colombia and Germany. Put simply, if Ghana are to be sure of a place in the last sixteen, they need a win against the South Americans in Sunday's match in Ulsan.
This is an extremely tough challenge as the Cafeteros have been in fine fettle so far, underlining their quality with a thumping 5-0 win against Trinidad and Tobago. Ghana's coach Sellas Tetteh did not mince his words when speaking to FIFA.com: "It's going to be a difficult match for us. We'll have to be at our very best to get through to the next round." The Black Starlets coach is hoping above all that his young players can maintain concentration over the whole ninety minutes: "That's something we really have to work on."
There is no doubt that the Ghanaians have what it takes to reach the next round. Their 4-1 win in the opening match against Trinidad and Tobago was full of refreshingly attack-minded football and showpiece skills. In the game against Germany, fans were also impressed by the dangerous attacking partnership of Ransford Osei and Sadick Adams, a pairing that has already carved out numerous chances and five goals in the tournament so far.
If the Africans can make their chances pay against Colombia, then the Round of 16 is within their reach. "We are definitely capable of it," says an optimistic Tetteh Teivi. "We will give our best and we are determined to avoid the embarrassment of an early exit from this tournament. We have got a great set of players - it would be a shame to go out of the World Cup at the group stages." Words which will be echoed by all impartial football fans...