GHANA'S lethal goal machine finally clicked into top gear when they thrashed a shell-shocked Niger soccer side 3-0 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Monday.
This renewed appetite for goals spells big trouble for Cape Verde when they face the Black Stars in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.
There is much riding on this Orange Africa Cup of Nations quarterfinal showdown and officials are expecting more than 30000 fans to attend the clash.
Even more worrying for the Blue Sharks is that Ghana's inspirational skipper, Asamoah Gyan, is returning to his best form. Pressure had been mounting on Gyan ahead of the Niger clash because he had been unable find the net in his team's opening two matches, against Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Mali.
But against Niger, Gyan was lethal, scoring a trademark goal with a fearsome shot and then providing two assists in the impressive display.
The modest Gyan, however, says his main focus is not on scoring goals, but rather on assisting with the overall team effort. After the emphatic Niger victory, he said: "I like to play for the team. As a striker, definitely people will be expecting you to score. But my ambition is to help my team to win. Anytime I can't score I try to open chances for my colleagues to score.
"I said to myself, the right time will come, and I think today was the right time. Looking at the game, I created the second goal and then even the third goal."
The swagger with which Ghana went about beating Niger has once again put them among the front-runners to lift the coveted trophy.
The first in the queue to congratulate them was Niger coach Gernot Rohr, who believes the Black Stars can go all the way and win the title. Rohr said this after seeing his team dismantled by the Black Stars in the final Group B game on Monday.
"Ghana is part of the good teams of this group alongside Mali and DR Congo," he said. "I admit Ghana can win."
The Fifa rankings suggested Ghana would have things their way in their final group encounter against Niger. The Black Stars are ranked 26th in the world and Niger 97th.
In their opener against DRC, the Black Stars surrendered a 2-0 lead, and that lapse of concentration was out of character for one of Africa's best teams. On Monday night, once they had taken a 2-0 lead, there was never a hint they would allow the hard-working Niger back into the contest.
Gyan warned his team against complacency ahead of Monday's kick-off and they certainly heeded his instructions in what proved to be a dominant display.
The in-form Ghana skipper will no doubt repeat his warning ahead of Saturday's showdown against Cape Verde.