Ghana played ‘lights out’ and emphatically dispatched the Crocodiles of Lesotho Friday night in Kumasi. Yet, the story on the lips of everyone was the interruption of the match 15 minutes into the second half. Ghana led 4-0 at the time with Dominic Adiyiah’s two goals complimented by Sulley Muntari and Jordan Ayew’s first half strikes.
The stadium continued to grow dark until the referee called the players and suspended the match. For once, the almost hour and a half long break in transmission was not the fault of the State broadcaster, GTV. The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) was being roundly chastised as it became clear that the floodlights at the stadium failed to come on. After denials from ECG spokespersons, the blame game reached the steps of the National Sports Authority, the body in charge of maintaining stadia in the country.
Rather than talking about the fluid passing display of the Stars on the day or the ability of our officials to step up and take responsibility, Ghanaians all over the World were reduced to talking about our “pass the buck” attitude. It was shameful and embarrassing to say the least. Hopefully, after some thorough investigations rather than knee jerk utterances by people in authority, those responsible for our shame and embarrassment will be held accountable. Don’t count on it though.
The lights were eventually fixed and the fans who kept faith at the stadium were rewarded when the game resumed. As disappointed as we all were, it did not translate to an emotional letdown on the pitch. The Stars were professional and there was no noticeable dropoff in focus and play. They simply continued to punch away at the Crocodiles’ resistance and faster than you can say BLACK OUT!!! they had added three more.
Christian Atsu, Ayew and Jerry Akaminko all scored to make it a resoundingly comfortable victory.
First competitive match as head coach for Kwesi Appiah and he passed it with flying red, gold, greens. Early days yet and he is sure to face stiffer opposition. How will his tactics evolve when faced with adversity?
We may not have long to wait. Zambia is next.
- Christian Atsu was one debutante who caught the eye. One game does not a Messi make but if Atsu maintains what we saw he could be Ghana’s next big star. He has pace, is skilled with a sweet left foot that goes for goal.
- Jerry Akaminko’s goal will give him confidence but he was largely unchallenged. On the few occasions he was challenged, he was more a battering ram than a polished defender. He was lucky to escape punishment.
- Harrison Afful was good on the overlap but again, he was not tested in his primary duties as a defender so it is hard to say that his introduction to the Stars has solved our left back issues.
- Jordan Ayew continues to grow as an attacker on the national team. His brother Dede’s absence meant he was not playing in anyone’s shadow. His two goals were well deserved and showed some composure that he lacked on occasion at the Nations Cup.
- Is it just me or was there too much irony in the air yesterday? From a Generator Company’s sponsorship of the telecast to the almost instantaneous ridicule and condemnation of ECG when for once they might not have been at fault to the ignominy of the score line ‘L-E-S-O-T-H-O’ it was all too much to bear.