BARELY TWO hours before the Black Stars taught the Ivorian Elephants their unforgettable 4-2 defeat lesson in the just ended 26th MTN Africa Cup of Nations tournament, Ghana's Members of Parliament (MPs) had subjected their visiting United Kingdom colleagues to a similar defeat.
The Ghanaian MPs, who had determined to keep the nation's soccer hopes alive following the Black Stars' one nil defeat suffered at the hands of the Cameroonian Indomitable Lions, displayed their mastery and artistry besides law-making with a two-one defeat over the Members of the House of Commons, who are embarking on a working tour of a number of countries including Ghana.
The first goal of the friendly encounter, which started at 2:50 at the El-Wak Stadium in Accra, was recorded through Sean Nolan, a staff of the British Parliament, just six minutes later.
Though the Ghanaian side had two corner kicks within the first seven minutes of play, they failed to utilize the glaring opportunities which came their way.
A 'bicycle kick' by Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei, the MP for Old Tafo and Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, though nearly fetched Ghana her equalizer, only resulted in a sudden muscle pull for the player. Consequently, he was replaced by the MP for Talensi and Deputy Minority Whip, John Tia in the fifteenth minute of the game.
Before half time at 3:10pm, the score line was a goal apiece as Ghana had found the British net through a parliamentary staff, just like the Britons.
On the resumption of play, Ghana's goalkeeper, Nii Namoale Amasah, MP for Dade Kotopon, was replaced by Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo of Wa Central. Other substitutes for the second half were Mahama Yariga of Bawku Central, David Tetteh Assumeng of Shai Osudoku and Abuga Pele of Chiana-Paga, who would definitely have made some significant contributions if he had come on board earlier.
Following the high number of substitutes the Ghanaian side presented for the second half, they scored another goal just three minutes after the game had resumed.
It was at that juncture that Goalie Pelpuo was also changed and his place was immediately taken by George Isaac Amooh, former MP for Ayawaso West Wuogon and former Co-ordinator of the National Disaster Management Organisation. But for the brilliant goalkeeping of Amooh, the Ghanaian MPs, whose stamina was no match for their British counterparts, would have been scored more goals.
At the end of the duel, both sides expressed satisfaction with their performance and hoped the return encounter in the United Kingdom, later in the year, would be a thriller.
Mr. Michael Fields, an official of Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm, presented 10,000 pieces of football to Ghana through the Parliamentarians. The MP for Atwima Mponua and captain of the Ghanaian side, commended the group for its act of generosity, and promised that the balls would be given to the appropriate authorities.
By Sylvanus Nana Kumi & Ethel Kangberee