A tale of two styles
© AFP

It is semi-final time at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Egypt 2009 and the opening last-four encounter brings together an adventurous Ghana side and their disciplined opponents from Hungary at the Cairo International Stadium.

The game
Ghana-Hungary, Tuesday 13 October, Cairo, 16:30 (local time)

The stakes
It is no easy task to pick a favourite from two teams boasting diametrically opposed styles. African champions Ghana have been seducing Egyptian crowds for the past two weeks with their constant hunger to get forward, and with six-goal top scorer Dominic Adiyiah in their ranks, not to mention Ransford Osei and Andre Ayew, it is easy to understand why. That approach has made for entertainment at both ends of the pitch, in fact, with Ghana having conceded six goals in five outings.

As for Hungary, their strengths so far have been rigour and discipline, although it would be a mistake to believe that Sandor Egervari's troops are obsessed with the defensive arts. The coach is set to watch this match from the stands, but once again he will have instructed his players to win possession of the ball as quickly as possible and create chances for talented forward Krisztian Nemeth.

More worryingly, fatigue could yet prove a factor after the Magyars were taken to penalties by the Czech Republic in the Round of 16, winning 4-3 after a 2-2 draw, and contested another 120 minutes before downing Italy 3-2 in the quarter-finals. They will also be deprived the services of midfield organiser Vladimir Koman.

The stat
37
- It is 37 years since Hungary last reached the semi-finals of a major football tournament. At the 1972 UEFA European Championship in Belgium, they succumbed 1-0 to the USSR, before taking the silver medal at the Munich Olympics following their 2-1 loss to Poland in the final.

The words
"We're happy to have reached the semi-finals. Ghana is the last African team still involved and we'll fight to make the whole continent proud. We'll give everything to return home with the global crown. We mustn't fail," Sellas Tetteh, Ghana coach.

"We'll have to prepare scrupulously for this match. Whether we're talking about their results or their performances, Ghana have been one of the best teams in the tournament up until now. The suspension of our captain, Vladimir Koman, makes my task even more complicated," Sandor Egervari, Hungary coach.