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Soccer News of Sunday, 18 June 2006

Source: soccer365

Otto Addo living the dream with Ghana

Otto Addo claims Ghana were "not surprised" by their 2-0 defeat of Czech Republic.

Addo, born and raised in the host nation, Germany, the 30-year-old midfielder was not expected to be named in the squad after he suffered cruciate ligament damage on his right knee for a third time.

But despite playing no part in the qualifying campaign, he was called up by shrewd coach Ratomir Dujkovic.

Addo, who wears the colours of Bundesliga club Mainz 05, has risen to the challenge.

He was one of Ghana's shining lights in the shock 2-0 defeat of the Czech Republic, ranked second in the world.

Now Dujkovic's quick and strong side face the USA on Thursday with a place in the last 16 at stake.

Addo believes the squad's self-confidence and team ethic are the key factors in their success.

He said: "We were not surprised at beating the Czech Republic.

"You know you might have to face big names and big countries here.

"But in modern football you do not think about big names because everyone can play now.

"It was almost perfect against the Czechs because everyone understood each other.

"We try to give confidence to each other and we play as a group."

However Ghana will be without their two goalscorers against the USA as Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari are both suspended.

Gyan also missed a penalty after Jaroslav Plasil had been sent off for the Czechs.

But Addo believes they still can trouble the USA.

"We have to go for it as we must win this match," he said.

"Qualification is near now and I am sure Ghana can go on and progress."

Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien was named man of the match and he swapped shirts with his Stamford Bridge team-mate Petr Cech at the end.

Cech prevented the match turning into a rout with a string of superb blocks.

Essien said: "Petr had a marvellous game and I told him so after the match.

"This was not just a victory for Ghana but for all African teams.

"I am very proud and happy but we know the next game against the USA will be very tough."

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