When Milovan Rajevac sent out his team sheet for the round of 16 match against the United States last Saturday, the surprise was his choice of his right midfield, Samuel Inkoom.
The 21 year-old is one of several players who have made a grade from Ghana’s U-20 world champion team to the ranks of the Black Stars.
Inkoom, an attacking right-back was handed his debut World Cup game, starting in place of Prince Tagoe on the right side of midfield and he did not disappoint.
The game was decided in extra-time with Asamoah Gyan’s 93rd minute strike sealing a 2-1 victory for Ghana and a place in the quarter-finals. For Inkoom, it was worth the wait for his debut.
“I have always been ready,” he said with a smile at Ghana’s team hotel in Rustenburg. “You would always have to be ready in such a big competition as the coach can send you on anytime to do a job for the team. It was worth waiting for my chance.”
“The mentality plays a role in how you adapt in such situations. But I thank God my debut went well with such a result also going our way. My teammates gave me confidence and it was easy settling in.”
“I have a good mentality. I work hard. That’s why I had a good match. If you have self confidence I believe you can do whatever you want to do. I like to go forward and the coach said I would get the freedom to attack. Sometimes the coach plays me right midfield, sometimes right back, and I have always done will there so he knows it’s a useful option to have.”
He has his moments on his debut but Ghana now faces another crucial test as they aim for a historic semi-final berth with the tie against Uruguay is just two days away and he is hopeful of their chances.
“We are ready to live the ultimate dream,” he said. “I don’t think Uruguay will be easy but I think we are capable of winning.”
“We are a difficult team to play against. We are more like family, that’s why we keep on winning.”