Ghana serves notice host Africans can excel in 2010 World Cup

To split four matches was enough to earn respect. Doing so with a physical side that led the Cup in fouls was even more impressive.

Dujkovic, a 60-year-old Serbian, might not be back for another World Cup run He would not comment when asked about speculation he might take over Serbia’s team, looking for a new coach in the wake of a winless World Cup performance.

Until the end of 2006, Dujkovic is committed to Ghana.

"Maybe we will sit and discuss about a new contract until 2008 but at this moment, I cannot tell you anything about it," Dujkovic said.

Finally fulfilling the promise shown by two under-17 world championship sides against the elite level, Ghana sent a message to rivals that the Black Stars are ready to challenge Cameroon and Nigeria for African supremacy.

"I’m very proud of our players," Dujkovic said. "They fought from the beginning of the first match to the end."

Dujkovic went from goat to genius as fast as it took the Black Stars to bounce back from a 2-0 opening loss to Italy and claim a 2-0 shock triumph over the second-ranked Czechs, then edge the Americans 2-1 to advance.