Monday, September 7, 2009

Ghana qualifies for South Africa 2010

Ghana has become the first African country to qualify for the first World Cup to be held in Africa after beating Sudan 2-0 on Sunday to clinch top spot in Group Four of the qualifiers. The victory in Accra gave the Black Stars unassailable 12 points in the group with two matches remaining, securing the West African country’s second successive World Cup appearance.

The giant feat also means Ghana is the first country to qualify for the 2010 African Cup of Nations to be held in Angola.

The Black Stars are regarded by many as the front-runners in African football and it was fitting that they picked the continent’s first African World Cup ticket and they did it in style.

Despite observing Ramadan, Sulley Muntari was on point after being set up by captain Stephen Appiah to hand Ghana the lead 13 minutes into the match.

The Italy-based midfielder picked his spot at the far post and firmly planted the ball beyond goalkeeper Mustapha Hafeez before celebrating it in Islamic fashion by bowing to God with his forehead to the ground.

Ghana dominated the proceedings but wasted several scoring chances with Hafeez saving from Appiah, Essien and Amoah before the break.

But Chelsea star Essien was not to be denied his chance to shine in the 51st minute when he got possession of the ball from the edge of the box and fired past Hafeez.

He also celebrated in style by running to the sidelines to passionately hug his long-time friend Derek Boateng, who was on the bench as he is making his return to the national team after a long-absence.

Ghana's qualification was helped by Benin who held Mali to a 1-1 draw in Cotonou in the group’s earlier game.

This means the Black Stars have 12 points, seven more than second-placed Mali with two matches remaining, for Ghana to clinch their place in South Africa 2010.

Despite winning the African Cup of Nations four times, Ghana played at their first World Cup in Germany in 2006 and reached the second phase of the tournament where they beat the US team (which has since made an impressive showing in this year's confederations cup) and were only sent home by the mighty Brazilian team.

They are expected to do much better in South Africa where they will enjoy massive support from the fans in that country.

Starting line-up: Richard Kingston, John Paintsil, Harrison Afful, Eric Addo, John Mensah, Anthony Annan, Samuel Inkoom, Michael Essien, Matthew Amoah, Stephen Appiah and Sulley Muntari.

Substitutes: William Amamoo, Isaac Vorsah, Opoku Agyemang, Derek Boateng, Laryea Kingston and Asamoah Gyan.

Taken from Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and adapted by Annette Quarcoopome

1 comment:

  1. Go Black Stars!

    P.S: Journalism in Ghana is pathetic. I had to heavily edit this article before I could post it. I am not a fan!