Cup Upsets Serve As A Reminder For Ghana

Black Stars assistant coach Maxwell Konadu says the progress by teams ranked as outsiders at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations backs Ghana's position that every team has an equal chance at the competition. Whereas teams like defending champions Zambia, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria have already exited the competition, their places have been taken by unfancied teams. A number of outsiders including Togo, the Cape Verde Islands and Burkina Faso are all in the knockout stage of a tournament that has produced upsets. “Before we came here [South Africa], head coach Kwesi Appiah made it clear that all the teams that have qualified are good sides with an equal chance,” Konadu said. “There is no way we are going to underrate anybody. And I think that is what we are seeing here.” For the Black Stars assistant coach, the upsets only serves to remind them that they risk missing out on the big stage if they underrate any side. “Most of the teams that people thought were adding up to the numbers are doing very, very well. This shows that you just can’t underrate any team.” At the end of the group phase on Wednesday revealed the teams for the last eight. Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, debutants Cape Verde, South Africa and Togo have progressed. Konadu says the Black Stars, who meet Cape Verde's Blue Sharks in Saturday's first quarter-final in Port Elizabeth will be focused to avert an upset. “We will also do our best to make sure that we are not taken by surprise,” the Ghana assistant coach said. South Africa hosts Mali in Saturday's other quarter-final match, followed Sunday by Ivory Coast-Nigera and Burkina Faso-Togo.