Remember African surprises – Appiah

WORLD Cup newcomers Ghana are taking inspiration from the impact made by fellow African sides ahead of their opener against Italy on Monday.

“In modern football the names don’t mean anything. Think of Cameroon and Argentina, Senegal and France,” Ghana&#8

217;s captain Stephen Appiah told reporters after a training session on Wednesday.

Cameroon beat eventual finalists Argentina 1-0 in their first match in the 1990 World Cup while then-champions France were defeated by Senegal by the same score in the first match of the 2002 World Cup and were eliminated in the first round.

“We are not here to win the World Cup but we are here to make a mark,” Appiah said. “We are all playing in Europe and the Champions League.”

Appiah and other members of his squad recognised that three-time champions Italy and the Czech Republic are favourites to proceed from the tough Group E, which also features the United States, quarter-finalists in 2002.
But the Ghanaians are optimistic about reaching the knockout stage.

“We could cause a surprise,” said midfielder Otto Addo. “I think we will qualify. I have great faith in our team.
“We are facing a world-class team but we have the players to beat them.” — Reuter.

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