Soccer News of Friday, 1 February 2013
John Paintsil is pleased with the Ghana's progression from the group stage of the Africa Cup of Nations but says going beyond the quarter-finals needs the best efforts of the entire team.
The Black Stars will come up against Cape Verde, debutants at Africa's flagship competition in the last eight on Saturday at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium with a last four place up for grabs.
Paintsil, who has been part of all the Black Stars squads that has made it beyond the quarters in three consecutive finals since 2008 wants every member of the team to stand up and be counted.
“We know what the task ahead of us is, the quarter-final,” Paintsil, one of Ghana's most experienced players said on the eve of the match. “If you know [the task] then you should know where you find yourself.”
“We are more determined and with confidence. So we will keep our discipline and also stick the coach’s plan so that thing will go well for us.”
The competition has already bid goodbyes to the likes of defending champions, Zambia, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria who all crushed out in the group stages
But Cape Verde, making their first appearance at the tournament, have defied pre-tournament expectation to sail into the quarter-finals.
Their run of form does not surprise Paintsil, who is expecting a tough game for the Black Stars despite overcoming the Blue Sharks, 1-0 in a friendly last year.
“We’ve watched three games involving Cape Verde and also we played them during our preparation for the Afcon in Portugal,” Paintsil said.
“I think they have a strong side and got strong strikers who are very good in the air.
“But the Afcon is a different ballgame so we are not expecting what we faced in the friendly game. We are targeting everything, every corner and every angle.”