19.08.2004 Football News

And Ghana Went Quiet

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It was a very quiet country last night. From Paga to Accra, from Axim to Aflao, the hours between 5:30 pm and 7:30 pm were spent in deathly silence. Ghana's Black Meteors were losing their clash with their Japanese counterparts in an Olympic qualifying football match in far away Athens.

Ghanaians do not like losing football matches. If only Ghanaians would approach other aspects of nation building the way they approach football, Ghana would probably have been a middle to top income country long ago.

Even when the dying minutes were approaching people were consoling themselves that Ghana would, by some miracle score in the last minute, just before the last whistle.

Those who hardly mentioned God suddenly said "Oh God deliver us…what did we do wrong?" Objectively, did Ghana really deserve to go on to the next stage or deserved to join the Japanese to repack after barely having a real Olympic feeling? Even at ADM, while some of were so hopeful that Ghana would win, others were not too hopeful.

The game started in a amateurish fashion especially on the part of the Black Meteors. The Ghanaian players began on a very slow note which saw them giving away the 50-50 chance in midfield.

The likes of Stephen Appiah, William Tiero, Razak Pimpong and Yusif Chibsah, the skipper of the side absolutely failed to glitter as expected and allowed the Japanese to whip them.

After failing to put the brakes on the Japanese, the Japanese put in some life in the rather dull game in the 37th minute after Okubu headed the ball which "dodged" goalkeeper George Owu and entered the net.

The Meteors wasted the countless corner kicks they had and rather attracted yellow cards. The second half of the match began on a relatively purposeful note but the Meteors could not get the goals.

The substitution in the second half with Kwadwo Poku, Charles Taylor and Nasir Lamine coming on for Razak Pimpong, Baffour Gyan and Patrick Villars could only lift up play a bit but did not bring the much yearned for goals.

The Black Meteors failed to make their dream of facing the runners-up in Group-A a reality; their Japanese counterparts flatly denied them the access to victory, as the latter played a remarkable defensive game till the match ended.

No doubt, the finger pointing would start and sacrifices of rolling heads would be demanded.

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