Ghana
© AFP

The past
Ghana's record at the FIFA U-20 World Cup is outstanding, as their five previous appearances have resulted in four semi-final places, two runners-up medals and the 2009 world title. The west Africans, who are the only African country to have lifted the trophy, struggled in their first game at the African U-20 championship in Algeria, and they needed a 2-0 victory against the hosts in their final group game to make it to the semi-finals - thereby booking their ticket for Turkey 2013. The team surprisingly failed to qualify for Colombia 2011 and were thus denied the opportunity to defend their title.

The present
Coach Sellas Tetteh, who was in charge of the 2009 side that won both the African U-20 title as well as the World Cup, has opted mainly for locally-based players in his squad. Their progress to the final in Algeria - albeit needing a penalty shoot-out victory against Mali in the semi-finals to secure their place in the championship match - would suggest that the coach, who has previously coached the Black Stars as well as Rwanda - will stick with the nucleus of his side. Forward Ebenezer Assifuah, who scored in all three of his side's group games, was the stand-out performer in Algeria. 

The future
Having been drawn into the 'Group of Death' at the World Cup finals, the Black Satelites will have to overcome stiff opposition from Spain, France and the United States if they want to progress to the knock-out stages. Tetteh, who was hoping to make history by becoming the first coach to coach an African championship-winning side for the second time, said that he recognised many of the qualities of the 2009 team in the present side. "This team pleases me as it is like that of 2009. It was a good display of football and wonderful advertisement of African football. There are lots of positives to take from this tournament, and we will continue to work hard until we go to Turkey."