It would be easy to assume Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah was overjoyed to face the cup debutants Cape Verde in such a crucial encounter, but the Black Stars boss admitted to being nervous about the tournament’s underdogs following their shock progress from the group stages.
The highly-rated Black Stars are scheduled to face the Blue Sharks in the first quarterfinal game of the South Africa 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in Port Elizabeth today.
“I would have been more comfortable facing Ivory Coast, to be honest,” Appiah told reporters in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
“When you are playing a team that has got nothing to lose, it’s difficult, because there is no pressure on them. That is the fear in me.”
Cape Verde coach Lucio Antunes predicted victory for his team, saying their target is to lift the trophy. The players have been promised a bonus of €45,000 to win the tournament.
And Antunes believes the Blue Sharks have proved their worth after finishing second in Group A, behind hosts South Africa only on goal difference.
“There is a big difference between before the tournament and now,” Antunes said on Friday.
“Initially we were very confident, but now more. We are now more confident and stronger as well. We think we are going to the final.
“Zambia won the last tournament because they were the strongest. We are going to win the tournament, that’s why we are here.”
Captain Fernando Neves warned Ghana that they would be underestimating Cape Verde at their own peril.
“We are here to carry on, we came here to stay and already we have eliminated a few teams who were thought to be better than us,” Neves said.