Ghana coach unperturbed by dodgy Mbombela AFCON pitch
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah says the Black Stars must cope with the sandy and bumpy field at the Mbombela Stadium when they meet Burkina Faso in the semi-final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.
The Stallions have a huge advantage over Ghana on the ragged and much-criticized field in Nelspruit as they have already played four matches on the pitch including the group phase.
The sandy and bumpy field at the Mbombela Stadium is from the lush surface in Port Elizabeth where the Black Stars has played all its games so far in the competition in South Africa.
Seeking to end a 31-year wait for a title for one of Africa’s top teams, coach Kwesi Appiah won’t have the advantage of previous experience at Mbombela at this tournament — unlike Ghana’s opponents Burkina Faso.
However, the Mbombela Stadium surface promises to be an uncomfortable experience for the skilful Ghanaians.
“The pitch doesn’t look good but at the end of the day we haven’t got much choice,” Appiah said Sunday.
“You just have to go there, have a look at it and try and manage it.
“We’ve watched other teams playing on that pitch and that is one of our concerns,” Appiah said.
“Even the training pitch we are using at the moment (in Port Elizabeth), it looks even better than where we are going,” he added.
The Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium field in Port Elizabeth has helped Ghana’s slick passing game, allowing its team of quick and talented youngsters to play.
Burkina Faso has made the last four for the first time on foreign soil by flooding the midfield and shutting down more expansive teams on the Nelspruit sand.