Ghana midfielder, Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, has revealed that some of his U-20 teammates were gripped with fear during the penalty shootout with Brazil during the 2009 U-20 World Cup final in Egypt.
Sellas Tetteh's side was stunned when Daniel Addo was sent off after 30 minutes against the South Americans.
In the end, the Black Satellites emerged 4-3 victors on the day thanks to a combination of crucial misses by the Brazilians, very good saved from Ghana goalie, Daniel Agyei and an ice-cool Agyemang Badu whose penalty sealed the deal for the team, Ghana as a nation and the entire African continent.
However, according to the former Asante Kotoko ace, when it got to sudden death in the shootout, some of his players lacked the needed courage and guts to attempt taking a spot-kick when their country needed them the most.
“It was a tough evening for us. We got a red card but we had to keep going. In the shootout, I asked David Addy and Opoku Agyemang to take the kick and they said no," he told Citi TV.
"They said they were afraid of missing and facing the backlash. I was surprised because they were both playing outside Ghana at the time and they were professionals. I was with Asante Kotoko in that period.
"I panicked a bit but I found courage in the fact that before joining the U-20 team, I had played with the Black Stars team and so, that assured me that I could face the Brazilians. I saw that it was a moment for me to make a name for myself and for the nation.”
Badu explained his penalty-taking routine that night and how he was able to put the ball past Brazilian goalie, Rafael.
“I approached the ball, run a bit, stuttered for a moment and when I saw that the goalkeeper had moved slightly as a reaction to my stutter, I was thankful to God because it meant that I did not have to hit the ball hard. I just had to place it and we won the cup for Ghana.”
Apart from Agyemang Badu who scored for Ghana in the shootouts, captain Andre Ayew, Samuel Inkoom and Dominic Adiyiah all found the target while Jonathan Mensah and Bright Addae missed their kicks.