Ghana have dispelled doubts about their chances of winning a fifth CAF Africa Cup of Nations title, even after a laboured performance with Guinea in their closing first-round game. The Black Stars drew 1-1 with ten-man Guinea to finish top of Group D, and will face 2004 champions Tunisia on Sunday for a place in the semi-finals.
"We aim to keep going," declared John Pantsil, who captained Ghana against both Mali and Guinea in the absence of John Mensah. "There is no doubt we will compete till the very end.
"What mattered most was that we topped our group and qualified for the quarter-finals. And we have done that now."
Pantsil expects Tunisia to be a very tough match for Ghana: "This is crucial and tricky game. It won't be easy because Tunisia are a very good team who pass the ball around very well and can also run."
Striker Asamoah Gyan added: "It will be difficult against one of the best teams in this competition. But we will rise to the occasion because with the Ghanaian character, we always handle the pressure."
Ghana assistant coach Kwesi Appiah believes his team will lift their performance against the Carthage Eagles. "I believe we will raise our game to reach the semi-finals," he said.
"In our opening game against Botswana, we did not play at our level. But for the second game against Mali, we played at about 70 per cent of our capacity.
"Every game is different and we will treat them so. We have watched video tapes of Tunisia. They are a very good team."
The sides last met in a friendly in 2006, with Tunisia winning 1-0.
The biggest cheering news for Ghana is that skipper Mensah will be fully fit in time for this quarter-final. The Lyon centre-back suffered a thigh muscle injury, but he was on the bench for the Guinea game to underline how quickly he has recovered.