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05.09.2005 Sports News

Feature On Black Stars

Dickson Kyere-Duah

A very good win for Democratic Republic of Congo and heavy defeat to Ghana would jeopardise Black Stars prospects of playing in the football World Cup finals for the first time.

It sounds impossible! But statistically, DR Congo has a chance of battling it with the four-time African Cup of Nations champions for the only world cup ticket at stake.

Even though Bafana Bafana and the Simbas are fifteen points apiece, South Africa are out of the race as a result of poor head to head record with Ghana. DR Congo and Ghana are on level pegging in terms of head to head record but Ghana are on top with 18 points whilst the Simbas have 15 points.

A 2-0 win over Cranes of Uganda, and a 3-1 humiliating defeat suffered by South Africa in the hands of Burkina Faso consolidated Ghana's top position in group two.

Spontaneous jubilations that greeted the final whistle at Baba Yara Sports stadium in Kumasi sum up the hope of many Ghanaians for Germany 2006.

The long journey

The journey to Germany; very long, enduring and sometimes slippery begun way back in 2003 when Ghana walloped Somalia 7-0 aggregate in a two-tier preliminary games played in Ghana due to the conflict in Somalia.

The news of Ghana placed in group two alongside South Africa sent shivers down the spines of many Ghanaians as Black Stars had not beaten South Africa in any competitive game.

Character

The journey to Germany requires character and endurance. It does not belong to the quick starters.

South Africa jumped to the top spot at the early stages. Along the way, Bafana Bafana and DR Congo behaved as if the top spot was their own reserve.

But when Ghana switched to high gear after five games, the going became tough for the other contenders. The Stars held Simbas 1-1 in Kinshasa, beat Burkina Faso 2-1 in Kumasi, defeated South Africa 2-0 at their own backyard and humbled Uganda 2-0 in succession.

It's not over….... until it's all over.

The Ghanaian soccer fans are already jubilating but the acting chairman of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr Kwasi Nyantakyi thinks Black Stars have their own destiny in their hands.

“We re not thinking about what happens in DR Congo-Bafana Bafana game. The technical team and the playing body are totally focussed to beat Cape Verde. The mission is not complete yet”, he told BBC Sport!

The vice chairman of the Black Stars management committee, Owoahene Acheampong echoed the FA boss's remarks.

“A world cup bound team like Black Stars will never loose to Cape Verde. We are 90% qualified and would not let Ghanaians down”

Cape Verde will host Ghana in the last group match on the 9th October, a day after South Africa-DR Congo game in Johannesburg.

Source: Dickson Kyere-Duah (Stugard), Space FM

(London)

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