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27.03.2007 General News

Can the Stars shine tonight?

By myjoyonline

Brazil on Sunday night were pummeling Chile, a sizeable football force to a 4:0 margin, while Ghana's Black Stars were sweating out strategies for an equaliser as a friendly encounter with Austria entered dying minutes.

And suddenly (Forget that the match has long been fixed, it certainly has dawned on Ghana with some real problems on our hands) we must face Barzil for a 'decider' in far away Stockholm, Sweden.

The last time the two sides played at the Germany World Cup, Ghana had too many excuses to belittle the 2:0 defeat Brazil handed the team.

Foremost was the absence of two of the team's regular and influential performers; Michael Essien was disqualified to play from cards he had accumulated in the tournament for offences he had committed.

Laryea Kingston, another of the team's midfield dynamos whose faux pas at the Cup of Nations in Egypt led to a controversial suspension by CAF, was equally absent.

Again we did not have 'very good strikers.'

Then was the even more controversial Czech referee Lubus, who did all he could to help Brazil win the match because Ghana did not deserve to play Brazil let alone win against them. Ghanaians are yet to forgive him for his sins in that match, particularly for allowing an offside goal and denying the team at least a penalty too obvious to ignore.

Now again Essien won't play because he is 'injured' (the guy is always injured when Ghana needs him most) and then mercurial skipper Stephen Appiah won't be around (fate also posted him an injury) and our strikers are still struggling to be 'very good strikers.'

Whatever the role of the referee will be, or the scoreline in favour of Brazil, that is if they are good enough on Tuesday night to win, Ghanaians have already secured reasonable excuses. (We are not wallowing in mediocrity though, or are we?).

Given that Ghana will parade no less than eleven players just as Brazil, we also deserve to win this time around. That will be the only news in this encounter. The converse will not matter and Brazil will at best be smiling for confirming that indeed they have always feared Ghana for no cause. Beyond that they will have no cause to celebrate too much.

This is so, especially when Brazil is cursing themselves for slipping two places down FIFA's ranking ladder, while Ghana is all happy for gainfully inching up the ladder.

Anyone who discounts the force and quality of the Brazilian team will be entering football afresh; they are out to do their dented image a lot of good and they mean business.

Word already on the streets of Accra is that the Stars must at least fight to keep the scoreline from 'heavy' if we must again go down, but tonight's encounter certainly is a great opportunity for the Stars to light up the world and continue their glowing tribute they are paying African football.

It surely is a duel.