No split loyalties
Nicholas Veevers in Ismailia
Monday, 28 September, 2009
Ghanaian-born Nana Ofori-Twumasi is more than ready for Tuesday’s game.
For one member of the England squad, Tuesday evening’s game with Ghana will be something of a special occasion as defender Nana Ofori-Twumasi was born in the west African country before moving to England as a child.
From there, he was signed by Chelsea and has since been a regular for England at U16, U17 and U18 level and he now comes face-to-face with the country of his birth, but says he has no doubts as to his allegiance.
“It will be a special game for me because I was born there and I left there when I was nine to move to England,” explained Nana.
“The game will be emotional, but I’m English now and that’s who I want to play for, so there will be no love lost between us and if we win, I will be very happy as my country has won.”
After playing in the second half of Saturday’s opener with Uruguay, the 20-year-old will be hoping for better fortune on Tuesday but knows that England will face a tricky match.
“I think it’s going to be a tough game, because no game is easy,” he added.
“We were really disappointed to lose the game against Uruguay with only six minutes left and I think Ghana will be just as hard.
“The group will go down to the wire so hopefully we can go out there and win.”
With Uzbekistan still to come later in the week to finish the Group D games, England’s primary target is still to progress to the second ‘Round of 16’.
The top two from each group, coupled with the four best third placed teams will all progress to the next stage and Nana is determined that England will be amongst those in the Second Round.
“The aim in this tournament now is for us to qualify and then from there we will take it a game at a time,” he said.
“And if we can qualify and keep going to the Final, it will be a good achievement and we would then want to go on to win it.”