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Ghana hit by injury crisis

2010-06-18 19:35
Rustenburg - African flag-bearers Ghana are facing a defensive injury crisis ahead of Saturday's World Cup meeting with Australia.

Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac revealed that Isaac Vorsah had not trained for "several days" and was unlikely to play while captain and fellow centreback John Mensah, who has suffered from recurring back-related injuries all season, broke down in training at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on the eve of the match.

"We'll see tomorrow if they are able to play or not. We will decide before the game starts," Rajevac said.

Ghana are the only African side to have won a match so far in the tournament, having beaten Serbia 1-0 in their opener.

But Group D has been blown wide open by the Serbians' 1-0 win over Germany on Friday, which means all four sides can still entertain realistic hopes of progressing to the last 16.

"Serbia winning shows that, at the World Cup, there are no easy games and the situation becomes more complicated for all of us," Rajevac said.

"Spain have lost a match, now Germany has lost. Everything is possible. There are no favourites, there are no rules. The important thing is how you start the game and how well you do."

Radevac revealed that he had been attempting to drum it into his players that they could not afford to be complacent about opponents who will be missing their best player, Tim Cahill, following the Everton midfielder's sending off in the 4-0 defeat by Germany.

"Over the last few days we have been working on that. We do not want players to be too self-confident," the coach added.

"Everything will be said on the pitch and the players have to be conscious of it. We will not win by making statements. Only by making an effort on the pitch will we win the game.

The Serbian coach reiterated his belief that Australia had been unfortunate with the way their match with Germany evolved.

"Plenty of negative things happened to Australia," he said. "It does not show what they can really do on the pitch.

"They are good side, in good shape and if they go for a win it is going to be different game."

Kevin-Prince Boateng, the Portsmouth midfielder, defended young team-mate Andre Ayew against charges of arrogance after he was quoted as saying Ghana would give the Australians as many problems down the flanks as Germany had.

"Everybody who saw the game could see Australia had some probelms in the wide positions," Boateng said. "Ayew is a young boy, I know him well and he is not an arrogant player.

"You can't compare this match to their game against Germany. Australia are playing for their last chance so I don't think we will have a 4-0. Now Cahill is missing they all have to stick together and it is going to be a tough, tough game."

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