Asamoah: Black Stars driven by the pain of the past

Overcoming the pain of the past at the last World Cup will be the motivation driving on Ghana as they seek to go a step better in Brazil this year.

The Black Stars were within a whisker of reaching the semi-final when they missed a last minute penalty in extra time of their quarter-final tie against Uruguay in Johannesburg four years ago.

Kwadwo Asamoah was in the line up against Uruguay when teammate Asamoah Gyan missed from 12 yards after a Luis Suarez goal-line handball and a defeat in the subsequent penalty shootout denied the Black Stars the honour of becoming the first African side to reach the last four.

Haunted by that failure, the Black Stars picked up the pieces and have had a go again, reaching their third-straight finals.

“We thought we played well and had done enough to reach the semi-finals. To come that close to making history and then see it slip away is something you don’t easily forget,” Asamoah told Reuters.

“However, we’ve moved on and taken both the positives and negatives of the last campaign on board – and now we’re fully determined to put our experience to good use in Brazil.”

“If you enter any competition your ambition has to be to win it, and to do so you need to face strong teams at some stage. We have shown in the past that we can perform when others may have written us off – and we’re confident we can do that again.”

Asamoah says they will be ready for the competition even though they find themselves in a tough Group G, where they will face Germany, Portugal and the United States.

“We’re confident that we’ll be able to give a good account of ourselves,” he said.

“We’re in a tough group, there’s no denying that, but we go into the competition following a strong qualifying campaign in which we won five out of six games,” he added.

“It’s our third consecutive appearance in the World Cup finals, we hope to have a long run and we’ll be doing all we possibly can to make that happen.

“In addition, even more Ghanaians are now playing in Europe’s top five leagues – this international experience will serve us in good stead.”

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