For Ghana, It's Do Or Die! : Show Me Your Cleats! - World Cup 2010 Blog Hopes are pinned on Ghana to score for Africa, for posterity and for the history books.
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For Ghana, It's Do Or Die!

So what'll it be? The devastated, dejected look, or a triumphant Ghana and Africa en route to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time! Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR hide caption

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Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR

So what'll it be? The devastated, dejected look, or a triumphant Ghana and Africa en route to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time!

Ofeibea Quist-Arcton/NPR

It’s do or die. No kidding. Ghana’s young Black Stars will either make history for Africa tonight, victoriously defeating a strong Uruguayan side and proceeding to the semi-finals of the first World Cup to be held on the continent, or … the unthinkable. We pack our bags and head home like the U.S. team the Ghanaians beat last Saturday in Rustenburg.

I say "we" because you might have gathered that this totally objective and unbiased writer is from Ghana! Yup, Ofeibea here with my woolly red, gold and green beanie — with the black star of freedom shining in the middle (Ghana's national colors) — pulled tightly over my head and ears to keep out the chill of a South African winter.

Let me tell you though, the cold has done nothing to dampen our excitement and anticipation tonight over here in Johannesburg in the buildup to the Ghana-Uruguay encounter at Soccer City in Soweto Friday. We Black Stars' supporters are doing the team proud, showing off an array of memorabilia and face-paint in dazzling red, gold and green.

If we win, Ghana becomes the first African team ever — yes, ever (savor that) — to go through to the semi-finals of a World Cup tournament. It's a huge responsibility to be representing the continent whose hopes are pinned on the Ghanaian players who will (we hope) be scoring for Africa, for posterity and for the history books.

Africa is on side and backing the Black Stars of Ghana all the way – sorry the Black Stars of Africa, as South Africa’s governing ANC party has dubbed the team.

Since the hosts Bafana Bafana (Boys Boys) are out, eliminated in the first round, South Africans have adopted the Black Stars.  And they're calling the team guess what? Ba-Ghana Ba-Ghana! Get that!

President Jacob Zuma, the powerful Congress of South African trades' unions, the local organizing committee soccer boss, Danny Jordaan, you name it, everyone is calling on all Africans to support Ghana's team –- the continent's only squad left in SA2010, the first African World Cup.

South Africa has risen to the occasion. More Ghanaian flags are fluttering here than last week.  South Africans are rallying behind the Black Stars of Africa and revving up, ready to cheer, ululate and celebrate.  There's little talk of failure.

So prepare for a frenzy of vuvuzelas tonight, accompanied by the tam-tam of Ghanaian drums, telling Ba-Ghana Ba-Ghana "please qualify," that this is our moment and that, come July 11 and the final whistle, the coveted golden trophy must remain right where it is now and where it belongs –- here on the African continent.

Go Black Stars!

Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooal(s)!

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