Black Stars waiting on injured players


JOHANNESBURG, July 2- Coach Milovan Rajevac said on Thursday that he has to make a decision on the fitness of five injured players ahead of Ghana's date with World Cup destiny against Uruguay.
The Serbian tactician told an eve-of-match press conference that he would be guided by the advice of his medical team as to whether they will play in Friday’s quarter-final at Soccer City.

Leading striker Asamoah Gyan, attacking midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, skipper John Mensah and full-back Hans Sarpei have been hampered with injuries ahead of the big match.

Ghana’s ‘Black Stars’ are bidding to become the first African nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup, while one-time football powers Uruguay are chasing their first last-four spot in 40 years.

"After the second-round match against USA it was a problem as to who would be going to play against Uruguay," Rajevac said.

"We cannot count on (suspended) Andre Ayew and Jonathan Mensah and they will not be playing tomorrow and we also have five injured players.

"It will be up to our medical team to make them fit and we will see who will play. It all depends on what the medical team decides tomorrow.

"We are about to have our final training session tonight and we will see the level of their injuries and I will decide if they are ready to play after a gym session and our final team meeting tomorrow."

Rajevac has in two years transformed Ghana into a well-organised, disciplined team that is the only African side left in the tournament after the demise of South Africa, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Algeria at the group stage.

"I have been working for two years with the Ghana team and I am very happy to be working in such a strong football country," he said.

"Early on we had to change a lot of things. I presented my ideas and then we followed these ideas and we tried to play as well as the best European teams.

"We wanted to play as a team and not as individuals. We were the first African team to qualify for the World Cup and we played in the final at this year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

"We are the only African team left at this level of competition so I am really proud of these boys and the whole world now has great respect for Ghana football."

Rajevac said his team was ready for a ‘high stakes’ game with Uruguay, two-time winners of the World Cup, in 1930 and 1950.

"We have to respect Uruguay and the fact that we have four teams from South America out of the eight teams left means they play very good football," he said.

"Uruguay have a big heart, they have great stars such as Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. It will be a very difficult game, the stakes are high, it’s a big day for us, Africa and, of course, for Uruguay and South America.

"When it comes to this level of football you do not have bad sides. It will depend on how we start the game and we have to try and impose our rhythm on the game."