Ghana's new generation of Black Stars appear to have exceeded expectations as they go into Sunday's African Nations Cup finals in Luanda.
They will try to win for Ghana, a fifth title when they play holders Egypt at the November 11 Stadium.
For a team riddled by injury to key players in the run-up to the tournament and which includes 12 Nations Cup debutants, coach Milovan Rajevac has certainly made the best out of his new generation of Black Stars.
However, the Serbian coach did not give up as he entrusted the responsibility to a few experienced players and the nucleus of players from the Black Satellites that made history by winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year.
A stuttering start to the campaign opened the doors for criticisms after the Ivory Coast beat Ghana 3-1 in their opener. Ghana regained their confidence to win their next three matches by the score of 1-0.
And all were impressive as Rajevac adopted a determined all-round performance backed by tight defensive approach.
“One must give credit to these boys, they have done well,” said Rajevac after the 1-0 semi-final win over Nigeria on Thursday.
Now, Ghana will be looking to add the title to their trophy room but whatever happens at the November 11 Stadium, the Black Stars will have achieved much in reaching their eighth Cup of Nations final.
The team's rise bodes well for another major competition ahead, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, a competition which will include Ghana.
“They have exceeded all expectations. This is a young team. They were at this tournament to learn, and I think most of them have emerged better players. This has given them priceless exposure to international football and the demands of competing in big tournaments.”