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Ghana 'at home' in South Africa

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 3, 2013 at 8:29 am •  Published: February 3, 2013
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It was also described as "not good enough" for the tournament by the organizing Confederation of African Football.

"We've watched other teams playing on that pitch and that is one of our concerns," Appiah said as his team looked ahead to a fourth straight semifinal appearance at the Cup of Nations. "Even the training pitch we are using at the moment (in Port Elizabeth), it looks even better than where we are going."

The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium field in Port Elizabeth has helped Ghana's slick passing game, allowing its team of quick and talented youngsters to play. Conversely, Burkina Faso has made the last eight for the first time on foreign soil by flooding the midfield and shutting down more expansive teams on the Nelspruit sand. Togo is adjusting to it, too.

That leaves Ghana playing catch-up ahead of the semifinal.

But Ghana will travel north boosted by the good feeling the team always has when it's in South Africa, Appiah and captain Asamoah Gyan said, and might even pick up a few more supporters now that the host nation is out.

"Three years ago, we won a lot of hearts in South Africa," Gyan said. "They (South African fans) should keep on praying for the Black Stars."