Preview: Brazil v Ghana (Dortmund, 4pm)

Black Stars set to shine but Brazil wary of foul play
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The Independent Online

Ghana will today attempt to become the first African team to score a goal against Brazil, never mind beat them, in a World Cup. It sums up the task faced by the Black Stars but after dubbing themselves the "Brazil of Africa", there is no shortage of confidence in their camp. And neither should there be.

The Ghanaians know that Brazil will not relish the encounter. It is probably why Carlos Alberto Parreira, who started his coaching career in the West African country in the 1960s, has already expressed his concern at the physical nature of Ghana.

It is an accusation that brought a swift response from Ratomir Dujkovic, the Serb who has guided his team - in their first World Cup - into the last 16. "I tell you this," he said. "My team will try and win the ball but never, ever go out to foul someone and deliberately injure them. That is the difference between my team and some other countries in this competition."

There is indeed flair allied to power and although the absence of Chelsea's Michael Essien, who is suspended, will be keenly felt, Ghana can reinstate Sulley Muntari and Asamoah Gyan, who scored the goals against the Czech Republic. Muntari has promised Essien he will get them to at least the semi-finals.

"Nothing is impossible," Muntari said. "Brazil have world-class players but football is a game of chance. On any given day, anyone can be beaten."

Brazil have beaten African teams in the tournament four times before - Zaire, in 1974, Algeria (1986), Cameroon (1994) and Morocco (1998) - and Djukovic added: "The thing we must not do is be intimidated by those yellow shirts. My players cannot afford to be standing on the pitch looking at their idols and wondering how they are playing. They have to try and stop them."

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