Ghana coach Rajevac fancied World Cup-winning chances during first spell

Posted on: 2021-09-24 21:58:50

New Ghana coach Milovan Rajevac believes the Black Stars could have won the 2010 World Cup during his first spell with the West Africans if Luis Suarez had not slapped out a goal-bound header in extra-time of an intense quarter-final fixture against Uruguay.

Africa’s sole survivors in the competition in South Africa, the Black Stars went close to securing a possible match-winner when Dominic Adiyiah headed from a goal-mouth scramble, but the Atletico Madrid striker kept out the ball with his hand on the goal-line, leaving the referee with no option than to point to the spot and give the Uruguayan his marching orders.

In what was the last kick of the game, Asamoah Gyan’s penalty struck the upright, leaving Ghana broken hearted and sending the game into penalties on the back of a 1-1 scoreline after 120 minutes of action. The Black Stars ultimately lost in the shoot-out.

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“When you get to the World Cup you realise this is the biggest achievement. We all have to work together; GFA, technical team, media and supporters. The last time we did it, we did it together. I believe we can deliver,” Rajevac, who has been reappointed as Ghana coach, said at his announcement and unveiling in Accra on Friday.

“This was the biggest success in Ghanaian football and the biggest success in my career. I was happy to share this success with you. If Suarez hadn’t done what he did, we might have been world champions.”

The Serbian coach has not only been tasked to lead Ghana to victory at the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament but also to help the side secure qualification to the World Cup in Qatar next year.

After two rounds of matches in the qualifiers for the global showpiece, Ghana sit second in Group G following a 1-0 opening day home win over Ethiopia and a 1-0 away loss to South Africa.

The defeat to Bafana Bafana led to the dismissal of coach CK Akonnor, creating a vacancy for Rajevac’s return.

“Our focus is on the World Cup qualifications,” said the Serb.

“We have a lot of work today, we expect the players to be positive, trust me and give me their best. I know they can deliver.”

Ghana’s next assignment is a double-header against Zimbabwe next month.

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