AFCON 2023: Fellow Ghanaians, calm down

Spread the love

It was at the Estadio de Mongomo. The clock had ticked 90 minutes 54 seconds, and Ghana’s skipper, Asamoah Gyan, was seen wheeling away towards the advertising board in the stadium he would later jump over, with his hands tapping his chest in celebration.

Gyan, who had suffered a malaria attack and was a doubt for this contest, had seen a diagonal pass from Mubarak Wakaso just less than six yards out of Ghana’s box.

Like a hare, he outpaced Carl Medjani, deliciously touched the ball with his left foot to usher it into a suitable position and shoved him off his challenge before unleashing a shot beyond the reach of Räs M’Bolhi.

While M’Bolhi stood palpably disappointed, Gyan’s teammates followed in unison and screamed their lungs out. Thousands in the stadium on their feet, and millions watching on television would cheer as though the players could hear them.

It was the last kick of the game that would change the trajectory and fortunes of this team in the tournament.

On January 19, 2015, a Gyan-less Black Stars conceded a 90+3 goal from Moussa Sow against Senegal which left the camp disappointed and dispirited.

Algeria was arguably the best team in this group that also had South Africa and the commentary of nine years ago prior to the game was one of pessimism, pain, venom, and vitriol towards the players.

But there was something behind Ghana many people lost sight of – history.

History that dates back to 1992. Same history had come to the team’s rescue in Angola 2010, after Ivory Coast thumped the little stars 3-1 in the opening game.

Many Ghanaians took solace in the fact that, this was a young team though the despondency was telling.

Andre Ayew would turn the tide of setback to come back against Burkina Faso, heading home Samuel Inkoom’s inch-perfect cross to change the narrative and usher the team into a path that would see them reach the final of this prestigious event.

Same happened five years later in Equatorial Guinea.

Gyan was the spine of that group. In his absence, nothing appeared to work in the Stars’ favour. 

Baby Jet was a nemesis to any defender who came his way, and when Medjani came to stop him, he showed strength, and determination to strike home a goal that would restore hope of not just the players, but Ghanaians and neutrals who adore this team.

The storyline of 2015, when this team braved the odds to recover and reach the final, is not quite different from that of 2024.

Go back to paragraph six and you’ll notice Ghana conceded 93 minutes into the game against Senegal. A goal that almost derailed and killed hopes, and take a look at Cape Verde’s winning goal of 2024, which has fans foaming at the mouth.

Cape Verde sunk Ghana in the 92nd minute, similar to that of 2015, which rightly got everyone emotionally distraught.

At the mixed zone, players lost their bearing, in the post-match press conference, Chris Hughton said: “We are incredibly, hugely disappointed with the result. We came into the game with a game plan. We are hugely, hugely disappointed with our result.”

The disappointment was visible as some journalists tried getting access to the dressing room, and an irate supporter verbally abusing him in the team’s Hotel.

But guess what “…I know, and this group of players also know, how the Ghanaian people see this game, see this tournament and our expectations going into this one.”

This is not Asamoah Gyan’s generation. A group, twice after a hiccup recovered with class reach the final, but it is same Kwame Nkrumah’s Black Stars with history.

History that is about three decades old.

It would interest you to know that the three times Ghana lost matchday one since 1992, the country reached the final twice, 2006 being the exception.

And this Mohammed Kudus’s generation; a generation the Nima boy is their spine just as Asamoah Gyan was many years ago, have a responsibility continuing the tradition.

In his absence, Ghana lost. Maybe, his presence could have changed the narrative, or maybe not.

But on Thursday, against Egypt, serial winners of this continental title, it is not a fight for survival, but also a fight to protect history that has transcended Africa to the world.

A 32-year-old god that has only failed Kwame Nkrumah’s countrymen once on this stage, but has since protected it enviously.

Fellow Ghanaians, calm down. Ghana has won 11 of its second group games since 1992, drawn three, and lost one.

In 19 tournaments, including the FIFA World Cup, the Black Stars has an enviable record of 13 wins, five draws and one defeat on matchday two.

Though is a different challenge, history has a funny way of respecting itself. There is the unwanted history of Ghana’s unsuccessful attempts to lift the AFCON since 1982. It is history Ghana wants to end, and this history of never losing a second group game is equally in danger.

With hopes that Mohammed Kudus returns, these boys might just want to restore pride.

Whatever happens on Thursday against Egypt, history would it be respect or broken.

2006 FIFA World Cup

Italy 2-0 Ghana

Ghana 2-0 Czech Republic 

USA 1-2 Ghana

2010 FIFA World Cup 

Ghana 1-0 Serbia 

Australia 1-1 Ghana

Ghana 0-1 Germany 

2014 FIFA World Cup 

USA 2-1 Ghana

Ghana 2-2 Germany 

Portugal 2-1 Ghana

2022 World Cup

Portugal 3-2 Ghana

Ghana 3-2 South Korea 

Uruguay 2-0 Ghana

AFCON 1992

Ghana 1-0

Ghana 1-0 Egypt

AFCON 1994

Ghana 1-0 Guinea 

Ghana 1-0 Senegal 

AFCON 1996

Ghana 2-0 Cote d’Ivoire 

Ghana 2-1 Tunisia 

Ghana 2-0 Mozambique 

AFCON 1998

Ghana 2-0 Tunisia

Togo 2-0 Ghana

DR Congo 1-0 Ghana

AFCON 2000

Ghana 1-1 Cameroon

Ghana 2-0 Togo

Ghana 0-2 Cote d’Ivoire

AFCON 2002

Morocco 0-0 Ghana

South Africa 0-0 Ghana

Burkina 1-2 Ghana

AFCON 2006

Nigeria 1-0 Ghana

Ghana 1-0 Senegal 

Zimbabwe 2-1 Ghana

AFCON 2008

Ghana 2-1 Guinea

Ghana 1-0 Namibia 

Ghana 2-0 Morocco 

AFCON 2010

Cote d’Ivoire 3-1 Ghana

Ghana 1-0 Burkina Faso 

AFCON 2012

Ghana 1-0 Botswana 

Ghana 2-0 Mali

Guinea 1-1 Ghana

AFCON 2013

Ghana 2-2 DR Congo

Ghana 1-0 Mali

Niger 0-3 Ghana

AFCON 2015

Ghana 1-2 Senegal

Ghana 1-0 Algeria

South Africa 1-2 Ghana

AFCON 2017

Ghana 1-0 Uganda 

Ghana 1-0 Mali

Egypt 1-0 Ghana

AFCON 2019

Ghana 2-2 Benin

Cameroon 0-0 Ghana

Ghana 2-0 Guinea Bissau 

AFCON 2021

Morocco 1-0 Ghana

Ghana 1-1 Gabon

Comoros 3-2 Ghana

AFCON 2023

Ghana 1-2 Cape Verde 

Egypt vs. Ghana?

DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.

Source link

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Comodo SSL