Dominic Adiyiah has made a huge impact in his first FIFA tournament. The Ghana striker has started every game for the Black Satellites as they have won four and drawn one of their five matches at Egypt 2009. But the Accra-born striker has also netted six goals along the way, which sees him two goals clear from the chasing pack at the top of the striking charts for the adidas Golden Boot.
But for all the goals that Adiyiah has scored in this competition, one in particular stands out for the 19-year-old. "It was against the South Africans," he told FIFA.com. "We desperately needed a goal and I scored it, it was one of the best goals of my career. I knew I was in line with the post and, as a striker; you have to think about what you are going to do when you get the ball, so when I got it I turned and just had a drive. You can't be afraid to miss chances like that."
The Norway-based striker has forged a fearsome partnership with Ransford Osei, which has yielded ten goals between them. Whereas some of the Ghana players have known each other since childhood, the pair only met in January 2009 at the CAF African Youth Championships at which the Satellites emerged victorious.
"Osei is a very good guy," smiled Adiyiah. "He's a very good player and I think that we're doing well as partners since we've started playing together. We're both scoring and we're helping each other to deliver their potential. We played together on a few occasions when we were playing in the African championships, which was the first time I joined up with this team."
As players, we might not get this chance again, so we have to take this opportunity. We want to make ourselves and our dear nation proud.
Adiyiah and Osei now find themselves up against Hungary in the semi-finals in Cairo on Tuesday. The Europeans were victorious in Group F and after defeating Czech Republic and Italy en route to the last four, Ghana's No20 knows that he and his team-mates are in for a tough test.
"They are not a bad side at all so we're going to have to give everything to our coach," he said. "He's going to come up with a system [of playing against them]. We know that we have to be disciplined and do our jobs. We'll all be willing to give our best.
"It's been a long time since Ghana reached this stage of the competition and we're all thinking that this is our time. As players, we might not get this chance again, so we have to take this opportunity. We want to make ourselves and our dear nation proud. We all share the same ambition and we're fighting for it."
Yet while the object of the team is clear, Adiyiah also knows that his goals could also help to put himself on the map. The former Feyenoord prospect, who rates the Brazilian Ronaldo as his striking idol, is targeting a move to English, Spain or France on the back of his displays in Egypt.
"I'm looking to show what I can do in this competition and progress as a player," he continued "No-one wants to regress. I want to play at the highest level and become one of the best in the world. Over the years, I've had the chance to watch some great players and I've been happy for them, I just want to be one of them too."