Ghana coach aiming to fly the flag for Africa

JOHANNESBURG, June 22 (Reuters) - Ghana will be out to save Africa's honour by seizing the chance to qualify for the second round of the World Cup, coach Milovan Rajevac said on Tuesday.

After the elimination of host nation South Africa and local power houses Cameroon and Nigeria while Ivory Coast and Algeria need a miracle, Ghana stand a realistic chance to advance with a draw or win against group favourites Germany on Wednesday.

"Of course it is good for us. We are happy to be in this position. It also means it is an obligation for us if we have to advance to the next stage, but it does not add any pressure," Rajevac told a news conference ahead of the Group D clash.

"But we have a real chance and there is a strong sense of belief in this team," the Serbian coach said, adding that his team will be counting on extra motivation from local fans expected at the Soccer City stadium on Wednesday.

Rajevac said though Germany had the higher FIFA ranking (Ghana are 32nd against Germany's sixth place), with excellent players and few weaknesses, Ghana were better placed to advance from the group.

"The only thing I can mention is they (Germany) might have some psychological problems because it is a decisive game for the Germans. It is a final game for Germany. I'll have to see how these weaknesses are reflected on the pitch."

Germany must win to guarantee they advance to the next round, with Ghana currently top of Group D on four points after their 1-1 draw against Australia. Germany are on three points after losing to Serbia, who also have three points.

Australia have one point.


Rajevac said Ghanaian midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng will forget blood ties with German half-brother Jerome and will not be provoked when they meet.

He added that German-born Kevin-Prince Boateng, who chose to play for Ghana ahead of the tournament, is feeling no pressure despite a controversy over his tackle in the FA Cup final that ended Germany captain's Michael Ballack World Cup dreams.

"Kevin-Prince Boateng will do his best. He will focus, he will not be provoked," Rajevac said.

Following the incident that sparked condemnation from German public and media, Jerome Boateng, who is in the German World Cup squad, criticised his half-brother for not apologising straight away and said he had broken off any contact with him.

"Of course they are brothers in life, but on the pitch, they are not brothers," Rajevac said.