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Against all odds

By Neil Armstrong-Mortagbe, Sports Management Profess
Opinion Against all odds
APR 1, 2022 LISTEN

On the eve of Ghana's second leg final World Cup qualifier against Nigeria, I published a piece entitled "We Dare To Hope"; a number of people called to ask me whether it was wishful thinking or I genuinely believed that Ghana would qualify. My simple answer was this - "Wait till 1900hrs GMT on Tuesday, 29th March, 2022!!

And so......
The Moshood Abiola Stadium was packed with 60,000 fans, 99% of them rooting for Nigeria;

Our Nigerian brothers were so optimistic of qualification to the Qatar Mundial;

A nation of a little over 200 million people stood expectant of nothing short of victory;

A team adorned with star-studded names oozing Goliath-like confidence dreamed of steamrolling a Black Stars that epitomized the biblical David;

Indeed, the odds were heavily stacked against our Black Stars........

The waves of pressure brought to bear on our team were heavy and incessant.....

Roared on by the partisan crowd, the Super Eagles of Nigeria threatened to swamp the Stars...

But like a bolt from the blue, Captain Partey stunned the Home crowd with a peach of a shot that surprised the Nigerian Goalkeeper!!!! Goal, Ghana!!!

The crescendo of noise from cars, markets, shops and offices in Ghana bore testimony to the fact that hordes of Ghanaians were following the game!!! Indeed, Ghanaians love our Football!!!!

After notching the equalizer, try as they did, Nigeria could not breach Ghana's defense again... I was so intrigued by Otto Addo's sharp three substitutions at halftime; substitutions which were vindicated by how quickly they relieved the pressure on Ghana and numbed the attacking thrust of the Nigerians...

As the game wore on and on, that daring hope came closer to becoming a sweet reality...

And, finally, AGAINST ALL ODDS, GHANA OVERCAME NIGERIA TO QUALIFY FOR OUR FOURTH WORLD CUP!!!

AWESOME!!! STUPENDOUS!! MAGNIFICENT!!!
OLOAAAAAAAAAAAAA (IN THE VOICE OF MY CELEBRATED SENIOR, "THE WRITER" KWABENA YEBOAH).

I doff my hat to President Kurt Okraku and the GFA, to Coach Otto Addo and his Technical Team, to Captain Thomas Partey and our gallant warriors, to the Sports Minister for his active support for the team and to Ghanaian fans who dared to hope in this crop of Black Stars!!!

May the months ahead see us coming together to do all we can to support the GFA to prepare the Black Stars to surmount even greater odds in Qatar 2022!!!!

Qatar, Here We Come!!!

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