Poor Visibility Mars Charity Game
A floodlight failure for over 10 minutes resulted in the abrupt end of the special charity soccer match between the Marcel Desailly XI and Stephen Appiah XI at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra on Christmas eve.
It was such an anticlimax to a match that brought together many ex-Ghanaian international stars, two retired players and a blend of some young premiership players who came together to raise funds for Orphanage Africa.
The scoreline was 3-3 at the time the referee stopped the match in the second half as a result of poor visibility.
For many soccer fans, the match presented them a rare opportunity to see in action former Black Stars centre-back Tony Baffoe, ex-Stars skipper Charles Akonnor, former Hearts and national star Ablade Kumah and Germany-based Otto Addo team up in the Appiah XI, while the Desailly XI was led by the former France captain and 1998 World Cup winner, and featured such players as Togo international Eric Akoto, Russia-based Baba 'Armando' Adamu and Andre Dede Ayew, the son of Soccer Maestro Abedi Pele.
It also pit on different sides two of Ghana's most celebrated coaches, Cecil Jones Attuquayefio and Sam Arday who handled the Desailly XI.
Conspicuously missing in action was Stars captain Appiah who was still in his Turkish base. There was inspired performances by Baba Armando and Andre Ayew on one side, and Otto Addo and Derek Boateng on the other side, as both teams sold out a six-goal thriller by half time.
Hearts of Oak striker Prince Tagoe opened the floodgates for the Appiah XI before Adamu cancelled the lead with a spectacular bicycle-kick that was applauded by an appreciative crowd, and later connected home a cross by Ayew to give the Desailly XI a 2-1 lead.
Ayew, showing deft touches that were the hallmark of his father, later capped a good performance with a brilliant goal and team-mate Ali Kwame Maouas scored the third goal for Desailly XI.
The Appiah XI fought hard to even the score with goals through Fetteh Feyenoord's Abubakar Mahadi and Akonnor via a spot kick.
With some of the players showing visible signs of fatigue, the second half lacked much excitement and the game's pace slacked until the floodlights went off, plunging the stadium into darkness.