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Despite Monday night’s emphatic victory, the prognosis doesn’t look good for Ghana.
Nigeria, for example—who lost to the United States the other evening and looked, quite frankly, hapless—would, one suspects, still rather be in their shoes, with Bosnia and Iran to face, than the Black Stars.
Regardless of their attacking intent and burgeoning midfield ranks, regardless of how many they can put past the Republic of Korea, Ghana still need to oust two out of Germany, Portugal and the United States to escape the group.
It looks like being an insurmountable challenge and the majority of third- or fourth-seed sides would have already given up the ghost having been pooled among such testing competition.
But not Ghana.
The Black Stars have the talent and the European experience to be quietly confident about their chances of causing an upset or two. They can boast two Champions League winners, as well as players who have enjoyed careers somewhere near the summit of the continental game.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, they have the pedigree.
In their two World Cup appearances to date, Ghana have been drawn in tough groups (admittedly not as hard as this one) and emerged unscathed. They have never been eliminated in the first round and possess, in Gyan, a player who has made a habit of dragging his side through seemingly impossible World Cup challenges.
Seven of the squads who made it to the last eight four years ago are still present this time around.
I certainly wouldn’t be brave enough to bet against them creating a little more magic in Brazil.