South Africa are without defender Thulani Hlatshwayo, who has not recovered from a concussion suffered in the 1-1 draw with Senegal. And Bafana Bafana will give a late fitness test to defender Rivaldo Coetzee, who missed the last game because of a knee injury. Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan, who scored the winner against Algeria, will again lead the line for the Black Stars. South Africa must win, while Ghana may only need a draw to go through.
Ghana are targeting a first Cup of Nations victory against South Africa as they bid to extend a record of reaching at least the semi-finals at each of the last four Nations Cups. The Black Stars put an opening defeat to Senegal behind them when they beat Algeria thanks to a late goal from Gyan on his return from a bout of malaria.
However, midfielder Andre Ayew said: “We’re not taking anything for granted. Algeria is behind us and next is South Africa. It will be a very tough battle.
“Expectations back at home must now have risen, but Ghana have always dealt with the pressure.”
South Africa have the toughest task of all four contenders but coach Ephraim ‘Shakes’ Mashaba said: “We still have another game to play, so don’t write us off just yet.”Football has its own miracles. With one game to go, we can still surprise a lot of people.”
South Africa are unbeaten in three previous Afcon matches against the Black Stars, winning two and drawing one
Ghana have failed to score in each of those three previous games against South Africa (1996, 2000, 2002)
Bafana Bafana are looking to make it into the knockout round in consecutive Afcon tournaments for the first time since 2002
Ghana last failed to make the knockout round in 2006, finishing no lower than 4th since then
Asamoah Gyan has scored in his last six appearances for GhanaThe Black Stars have lost just two of their last 13 Afcon group games (W9 D2)
South Africa have won just one of their last 14 Afcon games (D7 L6)Bafana Bafana have kept only two clean sheets in those 14 matches