I knew something weird was going on when the clouds turned black at about 5.30 pm during rush hour traffic in Accra. I was excited to be going home and it was just before the Ghana versus Cote d’ Ivoire game which was due to start at 6.30 pm local time. All of a sudden, harmattan rain began to pour down. Ghanaians, including myself refused to heed the warning of the gods that it was going to be a rough night.
Boy, was it rough!!! Cote d’ Ivoire taught the inexperienced Black Stars a soccer lesson yesterday making the rainy day even rainier with Ghanaian tears.
The coach went with a lineup that featured as many as four of our U-20 players (Dede Ayew, Agyemang Badu, Samuel Inkoom, Opoku Agyemang) and three more non-regulars in Isaac Vorsah, Moussa Narry and Rahim Ayew. That was just a bridge too far for the Stars. The newcomers gave their all with kudos going out especially to Agyemang Badu, Vorsah, Rahim Ayew and Opoku Agyemang (who frustrated Eboue into getting a red card).
It was 1-0 at half time as a defense splitting pass by Yaya Toure left R. Ayew flat footed. Salomon Kalou slipped behind the defense and fed the man I saw in my nightmares the night before Gervinho with a simple tap in. The Stars raised their game in the second half as Essien and Asamoah Gyan came on. Twas all for naught. Ghana edged the early part of the half but their fight was taken away from them when Cote d’ Ivoire scored on a free kick. It was game over at that point and when the Ivorians went up 3-0 it was adding insult to injury. Ghana pulled one back with what was a generous penalty. Final Score 3-1. Humbling result.
This has earth shattering implications. For us to qualify to the next round, we must win against the Burkinabes which as they showed against Cote d’ Ivoire will be no easy task.