Mixed emotions for Ghana's Serbian coach

PRETORIA- Ghana's Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac was delighted to hand Africa its first win in the 2010 World Cup after his team beat Serbia 1-0 on Sunday, but admitted he also felt sorry for his defeated compatriots.

After African teams managed two defeats and a draw in the opening two days of the month-long tournament, Ghana gave the success-hungry continent plenty to cheer about after an Asamoah Gyan penalty downed 10-man Serbia.

"We are happy that an African team has beaten a good European team and we hope that the whole of Africa is celebrating the continent's first win in the 2010 World Cup," Rajevac told a post-match news conference.

"It was a very difficult match and a clash of contrasting styles, so I have to congratulate my players for a valiant effort because they kept going until the end," he added.

But Rajevac also had mixed emotions about beating Serbia in their opening Group D match and said he hoped both teams would qualify for the last 16.

"This is the greatest win of my career but I also feel sorry for Serbia, I saw the anguish on the players' faces after the final whistle.

"I had a job to do and I did it professionally but I hope my countrymen win their next two games against Germany and Australia, I wish them the best of luck."

Gyan, who missed a penalty against Czech Republic in the 2006 World Cup when the Ghana reached the last 16, said he was completely relaxed before taking the spot-kick against Serbia.

"I felt no pressure taking the penalty because I came here full of confidence after a good season with my club," said the striker who plies his trade for Ligue 1 side Rennes."

"We knew what the Serbians could do, we were tactically perfect and waited for them to make the mistakes and we were lucky to benefit from one.

"I think the whole of Africa will relish what the Black Stars did today."

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