Ghana’s first run to the World Cup quarter-finals has put the Black Stars amongst Africa’s best ever performers at the competition but they stand to become the only side from the continent to reach the last four if they manage victory against Uruguay.
Both sides clash in Friday’s quarter-final match at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg with the Black Stars carrying the hopes of an entire continent.
For Uruguay, it’s their first last eight place since their run to the semi-finals in 1970. But the same cannot be said of Ghana, who have never come this far in the tournament, having reached the second round four years ago in their FIFA World Cup debut.
Uruguay’s form might have captured the attention of a whole nation but Ghana’s is that of an entire continent.
Ghana is the only one of six African participants to advance past the group stage and they aim to keep the continent’s flag high.
“I believe if we keep on staying focused why can’t we lift the trophy?” defender Samuel Inkoom said.
For the South American side, their hopes of edging past Ghana certainly rests on the talented striking duo of Diego Forlan and Luis Suarez.
“We have been dreaming since this tournament started,” Suarez said. “Some teams start out as favorites. My side is ready to fight hard for wonderful things. We have to live the emotions and what we are feeling in every match.”
Uruguay has a rich World Cup history having won the competition in 1930 and 1950 and reached the semifinals in 1970, but Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac who has earned reputation for his tactical awareness doesn’t expect his side to flap the opportunity.
"We have no obligation but still we want to use this opportunity to do our best and to make history," Rajevac said.