The Black Stars must defeat Group G leaders-Germany if the side harbours any hopes of making it to the second round of the world cup for the third successive tournament.
The Black Stars lost their first game 2-1 against the USA, precipitating the relabeling of this game from ‘an any result would fly’ game to a must win game.
The loss really was a setback for the Black Stars, as the side considered the ‘weakest’ in the group picked up the victory over Ghana; and now to progress the team must find a way past European heavyweights Germany and Portugal.
However if the progress of the world cup so far has taught us anything, it is that possessing the status of being top dogs is not in itself indicative of top dog status.
That’s the lesson defending champions Spain are being forced to digest this day, after losing their first two games which guaranteed their elimination and rendered their tag of defending champions meaningless far earlier than they must have planned for.
Thus the Black Stars must feel they can take on Germany toe-to-toe, which is precisely the attitude they need to get the needed result out of Die Mannschaft…
Germany won their first Group game 4-0 against Portugal with a hat-trick from Thomas Muller, and a win against Ghana would all but guarantee their passage to the next round of the competition.
For their part the Black Stars have to rectify the tactical and technical errors that led to the 2-1 humbling at the hands of the United States, from the playing body all the way up to head coach Kwesi Appiah.
By this time Kwesi Appiah must have realised his unorthodox (senseless) decision to play Kwadwo Asamoah at left-back is a detriment to the team’s forward play. With Samuel Inkoom, Daniel Opare, and Harrison Afful in the team, it borders on criminality to waste a dynamite talent like Kwadwo on defensive duty.
The Juventus wing-back (not left-back) is one tight little package of creative passing, dribbling ability, and wicked shots that any team would be delighted to have as their playmaker. Ghana, his own country, should not be wasting his abilities.
Defensive organisation would be another area to be worked on if the Stars harbour any hopes of coming out of this game unscathed. Compared with the attacking firepower Germany is bringing, the US’ was child’s play. It is only by being extremely disciplined at the back throughout 90 minutes that a goal fest not unlike the one against Portugal can be avoided.
Germany is most dangerous when they counter, and when the Stars must be most wary is when they are attacking Germany’s goal. With supreme panache and skill, the German team counter, and any three of Muller, Ozil, Reus, Gotze, and Podolski can score when faced with six retreating defenders.
The last time the two sides met was in the Group stages in South Africa 2010, when Germany won a tightly contested tie 1-0. The trademark of Milovan Rajevac’s team back then was defensive solidity and counter attacking prowess, and that was only enough to get us a 0-1 loss. Kwesi Appiah’s team is looser at the back and more prolific upfront, but getting anything out of Saturday’s game necessitates going back to the basics as set down by Milo.
Ghana versus Germany is scheduled for Saturday June 21 at 19:00 GMT at the Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, and it’s a must win one for the Black Stars.
It is not quite mission impossible, but another performance as the one on Monday and it would be a nightmare worse than the most pessimistic Ghanaian could conjure up in his wildest dreams. A better one and the Stars can garner a result able to leave the team’s fate in their own hands going into the last group game against Portugal.