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Ghana expect tough clash with Cape Verde

1 February 2013 19:15

Ghana coach James Appiah is expecting a stern test from Cape Verde in their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final on Sunday.

Ghana were in excellent form during the group stages of the tournament, notching victories against Mali and Niger.

That saw them top Group B, setting up a last-eight clash against Cape Verde, who are also unbeaten at the tournament so far.

Ghana did defeat Cape Verde 1-0 in a friendly in November but Appiah believes that has little to no relevance, while he also expressed his joy at the performances of the inexperienced players in his squad.

"When you play a friendly game with a team you don't rely on that result and say 'I've beaten them by one or 10 goals', because in a competitive situation the team will come up with different tactics," Appiah said.

"For that reason, personally, even though we did beat them in a friendly game I don't see it as an issue. I think they have a very good team, attacking and defensive wise, that's why they are good and it's important that we play very well to make the next stage.

"When we came into this competition I had about 10 players who had never been to such a competition before in my team.

"I knew it wasn't going to be easy in the initial games but at the moment they are all getting used to the competition, their confidence is rising and their performance is also picking up. That is the good part that I have seen from my team at the moment."

Appiah's opposite number, Lucio Antunes of Cape Verde, believes his side are more than capable of causing an upset against the Ghanaians, who made the quarter-finals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

And Antunes warned against taking his side lightly.

"We have a good team. Our players are ambitious and they work hard every day," Antunes said.

"We are growing as a team, which is fantastic for the manager and for the country. We came here to do a serious job.

"If Ghana is looking to us as a weaker team, they should know we have a good squad and (one that is) well instructed."

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