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Page last updated at 11:41 GMT, Wednesday, 9 June 2010 12:41 UK

World Cup 2010: Ghana's John Pantsil targets semi-final

Ghana defender John Pantsil
John Pantsil wants Ghana to build on an impressive Nations Cup campaign

Ghana right-back John Pantsil expects no less than a semi-final appearance for his country at the World Cup in South Africa.

The Fulham defender told BBC World Service's Sportsworld: "An African country can lift the cup.

"In Germany in 2006 we reached the last 16 but now, with Africa hosting and a stronger squad I have full confidence of us being in the semi-finals.

"It is a big chance for Africa to achieve," he added.

Ghana will be looking to build on their 2006 World Cup campaign which saw them notch up impressive wins against Czech Republic and the USA, before being knocked out by Brazil in the next round.

"Our group is very tricky but we have to focus on doing better than before," he said.

The Black Stars line up in Group D alongside Germany, Australia and Serbia. Their first game, against Serbia, takes place on 13 June in Pretoria.

After an impressive African Cup of Nations campaign, which saw Ghana lose 1-0 in the final to Egypt, confidence in the camp is high.

Pantsil missed out on the competition because of a ligament injury, but now has his sights firmly set on an outstanding showing in South Africa.

"We are not lacking in any area. We have a good first 11 and a good bench so that will help the team progress to a better level than 2006," he said.

He is also looking forward to having the full support of not only his home country Ghana, but the rest of the continent, too.

"All the African countries will get great support from South Africa. African fans will not support one country but will support Africa," Pantsil said. "In Africa we love football."

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see also
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Ghanaians ordered to be patriotic
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World Cup guide - Ghana
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Who are the champions? Second
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Who are the champions? Fourth
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World Cup venues
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