Meteors beat Guinea
By Maurice Quansah
Ghana's quest for a place at this year's summer Olympics became a little brighter after the Black Meteors recorded their first victory in three matches with a 2-0 victory over their Guinean counterparts at the Accra Stadium last Sunday.
Resounding as the scoreline might suggest, the Meteors wobbled throughout the duration of the match and left most fans and their head coach Giuseppe Dossena wondering whether with this kind of form, the team stand any chance of squeezing past South Africa and Cameroun to qualify for Sydney.
The Guineans, with little at stake, did very little to dispel the notion that they were the weakest side in the group and were even more naïve in attack, as they blew away several opportunities which could have ended Ghana's dream. Ghanaian's hopes for a goal harvest were raised as early as the fifth minute when Godwin Ablordey finished off a shot across the face of the Guineans' goalmouth, rifling the ball into the roof of the net to give the Meteors a flying start.
Ghana's attack of Baffour Gyan and Skelley Adu Tutu kept the Guinean defence on their toes for most part of the first half with many threatening moves, but each time they found goalkeeper Abdoulaye Conde too high a mountain to climb, as he stood between the Ghanaians and more goals. In the 24th minute, Conde made a point-blank save of Baffour Gyan's header from a measured cross from Ablordey. And just before half-time, Conde again denied centre back Issa Abdul Rahman a goal by parrying Rahman's powerful header from a corner kick.
After the break, the Meteors added more urgency to their game and attempted to wear their opponents down early. Somehow, Guinea managed to survive all the dangerous moves by the Ghanaians and threw also down the gauntlet when they began looking weary and confused and missing a catalogue of chances. Dossena pulled out Tutu and Gyan and brought in Nana Arhin-Duah and Osei Kwame to add more coal to the fire, and after several missed chances the substitutes combined to increase the lead in the 70th minute. Copson broke free from midfield and ran deep before releasing the ball to Osei Kwame whose shot at goal ricocheted off Conde and the rebound fell into the path of Arhin-Duah to score with an easy tap-in. Strangely, the Meteors lost concentration and allowed the Guineans' confidence to grow, pinning the home side to their own half. On a few occasions when Ghana's defence cracked, the Guineans had gifted chances to punish the Meteors, but strangely they appeared too naïve to score.
The result though was very good for the Meteors, they would be the first to admit that even against the weakest opposition, they struggled to survive and therefore need reinforcement with the more gifted players of the calibre of Christian Gyan, Peter Ofori-Quaye and Stephen Appiah in their subsequent qualifiers.