Timing can be critical to sporting success and five days before their FIFA World Cup opener, Ghana may have found a new star at the ideal moment.
Jordan Ayew struck his maiden international hat-trick for Ghana on Monday, taking advantage of an early injury to Abdul Majeed Waris to push his claims to coach Kwesi Appiah for a starting berth against the United States on June 16.
With Ghana having developed a reputation as team that lacked genuine goalscorers, Ayew may have timed his run perfectly.
Ghana reached their maiden World Cup quarter-final in South Africa four years ago on the back of a strong defensive system and the goal-scoring prowess of Asamoah Gyan.
In just their second World Cup appearance, Ghana were eliminated by Uruguay in a penalty shootout, after the score remained 1-1 following 120 minutes, and the Africans completed the tournament with a scoring rate of just one goal per game.
Gyan scored three of them.
Four years on and seemingly little had changed before Monday's 4-0 thrashing of South Korea.
Appiah's team had looked set to start Brazil 2014 having scored more than two goals in a match just once in the past 12 months, while Gyan had hit the back of the net five times in that period.
But after Waris was forced off in the sixth minute at Sun Life Stadium, following a tough tackle from South Korea's Ki Sung-yueng, Ayew stepped onto the pitch and strengthened his case to start against the USA in Group G.
"We have a crop of talented players coming through but I think Jordan Ayew will have a fine tournament," Ghana midfielder Sulley Muntari told GhanaSoccernet after the match.
"I expect him to be a revelation at the World Cup. Fans must be patient with him because he's one of our future stars.
"He just needs to keep calm and focus and I tell you the world will truly see his potential. He will surprise the world."
Ayew experienced a tough season in 2013-14 with the Marseille striker scoring just two goals in 22 games for the Ligue 1 club in all competitions before being loaned to Sochaux in January.
At Sochaux, Ayew struck five times in the French league in 17 appearances but was unable to help the club avoid relegation.
But against South Korea, Ayew seemed full of confidence and opened the scoring in the 11th minute when he took his brother Andre's cutback and thrashed his shot past Jung Sung-ryong thanks to a deflection.
After Gyan made it 2-0 just before half-time, Ayew extended Ghana's lead further with a strike from outside the box, while he completed his hat-trick in the 89th minute with a volley from Afriyie Acquah's cross.
The hat-trick could take Ayew ahead of the likes of Waris and Christian Atsu to start alongside Gyan and Kevin-Prince Boateng up front at the Arena das Dunas.
"The game was the perfect game the Black Stars needed," said Ayew's eldest brother Rahim, who is not in Ghana's squad.
"I was really impressed with the maturity of Jordan and I felt he linked up well with Asamoah Gyan.
"They played well and looked very dangerous whenever they had the ball, a good thing for Ghana going into the World Cup."
|Coach: K. Appiah|
for J. Ayew 59'
for M. Rabiu 71'
for C. Atsu 78'
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Shakhtar ready for Fenerbahce decider|
|Lampard targets MLS play-offs for City|
|MLS Review: Goals galore as DC United win 10-goal thriller|
|Ronaldinho returns and helps Fluminense to win|
|Keane: United won´t overtake Chelsea|
|Casillas has the ´enthusiasm of a 20-year-old´ - Lopetegui|
|Blanc hopeful over Ibrahimovic knee injury|
|Guardiola laments late goal in Supercup defeat|
|Tuchel plans to keep Bender|
|Hecking happy with Wolfsburg discipline after Supercup win|
|Arsenal players too interested in selfies and six-packs - Keane|
|Confusion over Ibrahimovic´s PSG future|
|Sporting Lisbon 2 Roma 0: Slimani, Mane inspire Portuguese hosts|
|Rodgers feeling ready for new campaign|
|Khedira to miss Supercoppa|
|Paris Saint-Germain 2 Lyon 0: Aurier and Cavani seal more silverware|
|Wolfsburg 1 Bayern Munich 1 (5-4 on penalties): Super-sub Bendtner nicks it for Pokal champions|
|Lampard´s long-awaited New York City debut ends in defeat|
|Casillas the spot-kick hero for Porto|
|Monk bullish ahead of season opener at champions|
|Marseille 2-0 Juventus: Night to forget for Serie A champions|
|Swansea end pre-season with yet another draw|
|HJK 0 Liverpool 2: Origi and Coutinho on target|
|Juventus rocked by Khedira injury scare|
|Lens and Pantilimon star as Sunderland beat Hannover|
|Pardew hopeful of concluding Wickham deal|
|Martinez allays Lukaku fears|
|Stuttgart 4 Manchester City 2: Cause for concern for Pellegrini|
|Wasteful Bournemouth held by Hoffenheim|
|Jerome seals Norwich win|
|Souare´s first goal ensures Palace draw|
|Sinclair hits hat-trick in Villa draw|
|Leicester end pre-season with thrilling Birmingham win|
|Wood and Mowatt condemn Everton to friendly defeat|
|Coloccini not involved as Newcastle lose to Gladbach|
|Borussia Dortmund 2 Real Betis 0: Ramos scores on return from injury|
|Stoke lose to Cologne on Afellay debut|
|Norwich capture goalkeeper Kean|
|Jovetic hits out at Pellegrini following City exit|
|Jones backing new boys to spark United revival|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic up and running, Dundee hammer Kilmarnock|
|Can keen to learn from Milner|
|Immobile on the mend following friendly scare|
|Sagan Tosu 1 Atletico Madrid 1 (1-4 on penalties): Simeone´s men need spot-kicks|
|Cahill: Big-spending rivals will make title race tougher|
|Roberto happy to play full-back for Barca|
|Gestede eager to make his mark at Villa|
|I want to play more and score more - Remy|
|Lambert influence important, says Pulis|
|Benteke a ´bargain´ buy - Rodgers|
|Zola: Qatar would be ideal for Balotelli, Cassano|
|Suarez: I´m not among world´s best|
|PSG ready despite ´chaotic´ pre-season - Blanc|
|Arsenal thumping still hurts - Fournier|
|Aubameyang targets Champions League success|
|Rooney set for Everton return|
|Cech can match Van der Sar - Wenger|
|Mourinho ponders Wenger´s losing record against him|
|CBF confirm Fred failed a doping test|
|Bournemouth beaten by battling Cardiff|
|Immobile injury overshadows Sevilla win at Vicarage Road|
|Lambert at the double on West Brom bow|
|Real sign up Spain starlet Vallejo|
|Valencia blow for West Ham|
|Elche cleared to play in Segunda Division|
|Baker pens a new Villa deal|
|Lambert makes Albion switch|
|Gillingham and Scally found guilty of ´race victimisation´|
|Inter complete Jovetic signing|
|Arsenal v Chelsea: Mourinho cools Wenger rivalry ahead of Wembley meeting|
|Villa snap up Gestede|
|Villa land Veretout|
|Mourinho coy on fresh Stones bid|
|Aubameyang commits to Dortmund|
|Torres on the hunt for trophies with Atletico|
|Cazorla and Walcott sign new Arsenal deals|
|Quick start vital in Arsenal title bid - Wilshere|
|I have received no offers - Guardiola|
|Barcelona to monitor Turan injury|
|Zorc ´surprised´ by Grosskreutz-Tuchel row|
|Phil Neville could be England manager - Moyes|
|UEFA to investigate Shakhtar´s Fred selection|
|City loan Unal to Genk|
|China v South Korea: Stielike looking for new options|
|North Korea v Japan: Halilhodzic to unearth new faces|
|Drogba: I want to be ready, not a burden|
|Hamstrung Clasie in doubt for Southampton league opener|
|West Ham goalscorer Zarate bemoans Astra comeback|
|Negredo quashes Valencia exit rumours|
|´This is not my Sampdoria´ - president Ferrero|
|Criscito could join Inter - agent|
|CBF endorse Zico´s FIFA presidency campaign|
|Hawit to handle CONCACAF´s referee review|
|Falcao is a ´top, top player´ - Terry|
|Tuchel pleased by Dortmund fighting qualities|
|Premier League rules out schedule changes for Champions League clubs|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Southampton stroll as Sampdoria are humiliated|