Ghana vs DRC 16:00 SS4
Mali vs Niger 19:30 SS4
Group A : Saturday
South Africa 0 - 0 Cape Verde
Ghana, picked by psychics in South Africa to win the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, kick off their campaign on Sunday against DR Congo, a side never far from confusion and controversy.
The Black Stars have won this competition four times, but their last triumph was back in 1982, when they defeated hosts Libya on penalties.
Since flopping at the 2006 tournament, they have not failed to reach the last four.
Even when lacking some of their best players, they have impressed leading up to this competition with big wins over Egypt and Tunisia in Abu Dhabi.
South African psychic and spiritual healer Jamil Ahmad has picked Ghana as “the cream of the crop.
“Ivory Coast or Ghana will take the Cup. Ivory Coast were runners-up in the last tournament and Ghana are just the cream of the crop. They play with passion,” said Ahmad.
Ghana enjoyed their finest hour in South Africa three years ago when they came within a whisker of becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semifinals.
The Black Stars missed a spot kick in the dying seconds of extra time against Uruguay and lost the penalty shootout.
But from the team that caught the imagination of millions of South Africans in 2010, Kevin-Prince Boateng has retired, Sulley Muntari is out of favour, John Mensah and Andre Ayew injured and long-time absentee Michael Essien says he will end a self-imposed exile only later this year for World Cup qualifiers.
“South Africa is a second home for us. We won lots of hearts during the World Cup and we hope to do so again,” promised skipper and striker Asamoah Gyan, who fluffed the chance to win the World Cup clash with Uruguay game from the penalty spot.
Ghana will fancy their chances against a DR Congo side, who on Friday had to deny the resignation of French coach Claude Le Roy after another bonus-related upheaval.