Ghanaians in US Rejoice Over Stars Victory
Today will forever be a historic day in the annals of Ghana soccer in association football for such a wonderful feat chalked by the senior national team, the Black Stars of Ghana for crushing their South African counterparts, Bafana Bafana by 2 goals to nil in their own backyard in far away 'obi manso', South Africa this afternoon. And as if ordained by fate, the South Africans could not even redeem a goal in the great battle that produced tremendous fireworks, bringing out the best from the Ghanaians in recent times in sharp contrast to grandiose opinions held by connoisseurs of the game that it will take a magic wand to turn the tide in favour of the Black Stars of Ghana to qualify for the 2006 World Cup. The victory, as it came as the biggest surprise ever in Ghana soccer, has affected all and sundry in modern day football all the world over. Ghanaians all over the world are presently rejoicing over the scintillating performance exhibited by the wonderful lads from the Goldland, Ghana. There is gold in Ghana, and there is gold in South Africa, but the Ghanaians have proved beyond all doubtful doubts that proper and 'pure' gold can only be found in Obuasi, Ghana.
Two solid goals without reply in a match that witnessed one of the heaviest attendance in recent times on the soils of South Africa is no mean an achievement. On the streets of 'the only city that never sleeps in the world', New York City in the United States of America, Ghanaians clad in their beautiful Ghanaian colours have poured themselves out there in total ecstacy amidst drumming and dancing and tooting of horns to let the whole world know that, here we come, Germany 2006!. In Downtown Manhattan, across Long Island, Brooklyn, Harlem and the Bronx, the ecstatic Ghanaians cannot let themselves go without celebration for such a resounding victory chalked by the Black Stars against South Africa in Jo'burg.
Interestingly, most of these Ghanaian jubilants and celebrants are those who were in Ghana and watched the match live on TV when Bafana Bafana of South Africa crushed the Ghanains by three goals to nil in the semi-finals of the 1996 African Cup Of Nations in South Africa. In Chicago, Texas, Atlanta Georgia, New Jersey, Ohio and Philadelphia, the celebration would travel through the night till the break of dawn. Ghanaians are happy here, and come to think of those in the DC Metro, specifically in Washington DC, Maryland, Baltimore and Virginia, they just could not wait till the action was over after Ghana went up by a goal, by courtesy of that picturesque goal by Matthew Amoah. You could see Ghanaians jubilating on the streets as if heavens were coming down to them. In and around every African market in the United States, the talk of the town is Ghana's dominance over South Africa in modern day football. Yes, the national Under-23 team started it all. They beat the Amagluglug in South Africa by 2 goals to 1, before their seniors who go by the name Bafana Bafana, were humiliated and subjected to a 3-0 painful defeat in Ghana in a Word Cup qualifier in Kumasi. Tellingly, the match in Kumasi marked the resurrection of the Black Stars in their World Cup campaign as all hopes were lost in previous matches that they had played.
The Black Stars could not hold on to their winning spree, making do with only two wins and three draws in their last five matches after the South African cracker in Kumasi, Ghana.
Now, the multi-million dollar question is whether Ghana can qualify after all for the global soccer fiesta to be hosted in Germany in 2006. Will names like Stephen Appiah, Michael Essien, John Mensah, Sule Muntari and the likes be mentioned when the roll is called as regards players who featured in the glorious tournament?. Statistically, it looks like we are there. But please, let us not throw caution to the wind even though we are just three points away from two matches to qualify, we should do our possible best to win the next two matches. Kudos to the boys. You have made Ghana proud!