Ghana coach wary of Blue Sharks

Kwesi Appiah
Kwesi Appiah

Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah says he would prefer to play Ivory Coast than a side with nothing to lose like Cape Verde.

The Black Stars will be favourites to end the fairy tale run of the Blue Sharks in Saturday's first quarter-final of the Africa Cup of Nations.

However, coach Appiah said he expects a difficult game because Cape Verdea will play without any pressure.

"I prefer a game against Ivory Coast than Cape Verde because Cape Verde have nothing to lose," said Appiah.

"They will play without any pressure and they are a very physical side, meaning we have to prepare ourselves very well to match them.

"I respect them and we cannot afford to underrate them because any team who qualified for this tournament are good and cannot be underrated.

"We have to work hard to go past them."

The Black Stars beat the Blue Sharks 1-0 in a warm-up prior to this competition, but Appiah brushed aside the significance of the result.

"Yes, we beat them in a friendly, but it does not really matter whether you win a friendly 10-0 or lose 10-0.

"What is important in such games is the tactical behaviour of your team," said the former Ghana left-back.

Ghana won Group B with seven points and Appiah said that playing against group runners-up Mali was a good preparation for the clash with Cape Verde.

"Mali are similar in style to Cape Verde and so one would say they have prepared us for the game on Saturday," he said.