RUSTENBURG - Sulley Muntari could return
to a lead role for Ghana in Saturday's World Cup second round
game against the United States days after being threatened with
being sent home after an altercation with his coach.
Milovan Rajevac said the skilful but tempestuous midfielder,
a recent Champions League winner with Inter Milan, was being
considered for a possible starting berth for the match at the
Royal Bafokeng Stadium.
"He's performed well in training and I will see overnight
whether he will start from the beginning," said Ghana's coach at
a pre-match news conference in Rustenburg on Friday.
Muntari was officially reprimanded five days ago following
an outburst after the game against Australia in Rustenburg on
June 19 where he was only used as a substitute.
Rajevac sought to have him expelled from the squad but
relented after an apology and pleas from other players, team
officials told Reuters.
Muntari has had several run-ins with Ghanaian soccer
authorities over the last nine months. He was left out of the
African Nations Cup squad earlier this year after refusing to
play in a warm-up friendly in November.
But a change in demeanour has seen Muntari now back in
favour. He was also brought on as a substitute against Germany
on Wednesday when Ghana lost 1-0 at Soccer City but still
qualified for the knockout phase.
The 25-year-old, who already has 54 caps for Ghana, was
expected to take a lead role in their World Cup campaign after
an injury to Michael Essien but was left out of the team for
Ghana's opening match of the tournament.
Muntari was suspended at the 2006 World Cup for the final
group match against the Americans, which Ghana won 2-1 also to
go through to the second round.
Rajevac on Friday confirmed key defender Isaac Vorsah
remained sidelined through injury but the two other centre
backs, Jonathan Mensah and captain John Mensah, had recovered
from knocks and would compete against the Americans.
Rajevac expects a taxing physical challenge from the United
States, who increased the tempo of their play in the latter
stage of each of the games they have played.
"Their opponents haven't known how to deal with them," he
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