Kwesi Appiah: Cape Verde have nothing to lose

Ghana face Cape Verde in their Africa Cup of Nations quarter-final on Saturday and will have to do battle with the story of the tournament and a team which Kwesi Appiah fears
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah believes the motivated Cape Verde side will be a tough task to defeat and would have rather taken his chances against giants Ivory Coast, than the small island nation playing in its very first Africa Cup of Nations.

“I would have preferred a game against Ivory Coast than against Cape Verde because Cape Verde have nothing to lose on Saturday,” Appiah told reporters in Port Elizabeth.

The Black Stars will be coined as favourites against the inexperienced Islanders, but Appiah is not taking the team for granted.

“I respect them and we cannot afford to underrate them because any team who qualified for this tournament are good and cannot be underrated. We have to work hard to go past them," Appiah said.

“They will play without any pressure and they are a very physical side, meaning we have to prepare ourselves very well to match them."

Having defeated Cape Verde 1-0 during the preparations for the tournament, Ghana should be confident that they can overcome their opponents once more, but Appiah does not agree.

“Yes, we beat them in a friendly, but it does not really matter whether you win a friendly 10-0 or lose 10-0. What is important in such games is the tactical behaviour of your team,” he said.

Ghana were able to top group B by defeating Mali and Niger, which Appiah feels should help them in their preparations for Cape Verde, as Mali play a similar style of football. The quarter-final will be played at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday.