Ghana Out Of Nations Cup In Worst Fashion
For the first time in 8 years, Ghana's Black Stars has been bundled out of the Nations Cup tournament in the first round.
With qualification to the quarter finals right on the doorstep of the Ghanaians with Nigeria having beaten Senegal in the other Group D fixture, the Black Stars put up one of the worst performances ever recorded in the history of the country in the Nations Cup and eventually succumbed to a two-one defeat at the hands of the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
In a spate of ten minutes in the second half, defender Issah Ahmed had succeeded in handing the Warriors two goals-first an own! goal after he headed into his own net an effort by the Zimbabweans and then a hand ball by the Kotoko captain which fell on the path of Warriors striker Ben Jani for the second goal.
With midfielder Laryea Kingston missing due to a four-match ban by CAF and striker Matthew Amoah missing due to an injury, the team looked out sorts with holding midfielder Yakubu Abubakari failing desperately to make an impact in the game.
Haminu Dramani, with his new right wing role, looked completely dumbfounded and did little to help the four-time African Champions.
Credit must however be given to Russian-based Baaba Adamu, whose effort in the dying minutes gave Ghana her second goal in the tournament.
It was a spectacular taken strike by the Krylov Sovietov striker that gave Ghana a consolation in the game.
Many were those who thought the Black Stars will qualifiy, given the fact that Nigeria beat Senegal two-one but with three teams in Group D tied at three points, the initial head-to-head record rule was decided against by the technical bench of CAF and they finally settled on the goal difference rule. Thus effectively allowing the Teranga Lions to go through on superior goal aggregate.
Head Coach of the Black Stars, Ratomir Dujkovic stated at the Post match interview that his team were under intense pressure to qualify unlike Zimbabwe which therefore gave the Warriors a greater chance to play well, streesing that though the Stars did not play well, it has nothing to do with the World Cup since that is still a long way and the team also missed several key players.
The exit of the Black Stars means that three of the five African countries that have qualified for the World Cup have been eliminated in the group stages in the Nations Cup competition.
Togo and Angola were the earlier victims.
The prediction by some analysts, including football stars like El Hadji Diouf that the countries representing Africa at the World Cup are not the true representation seems to have been proven right.
The last time Ghana got eliminated in the group stages in the Nations Cup was in 1998 in Burkina Faso.