Ghana manager Milovan Rajevac warned the United States to expect "a 90-minute war" when they meet in their last 16 FIFA World Cup™ encounter at the Royal Bafokeng stadium. The Ghana team are the last Africa side standing in the tournament and are determined to fly the flag into the quarter-finals.
The match is given an extra edge because it is a re-run of the final group game in Germany 2006 when Ghana won 2-1 to send USA home. Rajevac, whose side finished runners-up in Group D to Germany, said: "We are going to fight and do our utmost to get Ghana into the quarter-finals. It will be difficult but we have a big opportunity.
"I am very proud of these boys. Their main strength is the unity of the team. We always play as a team and not as individuals and that's why we have managed to have success recently. The world likes good football and Ghana has a lot of supporters worldwide. I hope after the match Ghana has even more supporters worldwide. That would be a great satisfaction for us."
Defenders John Mensah and Jonathan Mensah have recovered from injuries but Isaac Vorsah is ruled out. Rajevac, however, will not be taking the United States for granted. The Serbian played in the US indoor soccer league as a contemporary of Pele, Johann Cruyff and Franz Beckenbauer and he has a respect for the way in which the American game has progressed over the past three decades.
I hope after the match Ghana has even more supporters worldwide. That would be a great satisfaction for us.
He said: "America has grown into a football superpower but it also has sports which are given more priority. But the football team play with strength and speed. You never know how to deal with them.
"In the last half an hour they increase the tempo and speed and it is difficult to match them. Until the final whistle you don't know how to deal with them. Slovenia scored two goals against them and in the end the USA still nearly won."
Ghana's Samuel Inkoom revealed that Fulham's John Pantsil had been giving the team information about his club-mate, one of America's key men, Clint Dempsey. He also reiterated the manager's rallying call that they were playing for the entire continent.
"All of the African countries will be supporting us and we are not going to disgrace them," said Inkoom. "We are going to make them happy. We are the Africa hope now and we are not going to disappoint them. We are going to win."