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We cannot afford to underrate the Burkinabes

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Black Stars B

Recent events are enough signals for us to be careful of the minnows we underrated many years ago. Knowing that football is our passion, many countries pay a lot of attention when they are to play Ghana at international levels, it would, therefore, be a sad spectacle to see ourselves falling flat as we move forward.

We continuously bemoaned our fate for missing the World Cup for over 36 years after FIFA gave approval for Africa’s single slot from its ninth edition in 1970. We, however, had the loudest applause when we finally qualified for the 2006 tourney held in Germany.

It will be recalled that at the end of the tournament, it was Italy which won the ultimate after beating France 5-3 on penalties.  Even though we were nowhere near the top four, the fact that we finished as one of the final 16 gave us a feeling that better days were ahead as we topped the other four African participants that year.

Of course, we were motivated to fight for another chance and we gracefully qualified again when South Africa hosted the tournament in 2010. The Black Stars did a yeoman’s job and qualified for quarter-finals, something only two African countries had previously done in the history of association football

– Cameroun in the 1990 World Cup in Italy and Senegal in 2002 tournament in Korea/Japan.

 In actual fact, had it not been the devilish hand of the Uruguaian striker, Luis Suarez, we could have made it to another African record of reaching the semi-finals. At that level, it was a big achievement for which the continent was very proud and it accorded us a lot of respect.

It must be noted that since then, we had one of the best FIFA rankings we could boast of as the top football nation in Africa but this new status started slipping from our hands and also lost all the bragging rights. It is sad to state that in the latest ratings, Ghana has been placed in the 50th position and ninth on the continent, something which must tell us that others are showing greater tenacity and others are taking the leadership from us.

Looking back, we can see that the game we cherish so much is showing a down trend and we are struggling to keep our heads above water. It must be noted that a nearby country like Burkina Faso has been showing consistent progress and gradually damping our image we built over the years.

One particular year of the Burkinabe progression was in 2013 during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament held in South Africa. They did well not to lose a match, drawing 0-0 with Zambia and 1-1 with Nigeria, and in the third match they beat Ethiopia 4-0.  In the quarter-finals, Burkina beat Togo 1-0 and progressed to the semi-finals where they met their mentors, the one-time untouchable Black Stars.

Only Providence knows how they took the match and the preparation they went through physically and spiritually before meeting Ghana. The Black Stars took things for  granted and had the shock of their lives as the final whistle went after full and extra time with 1-1 draw, thus calling for penalty shootout. And when all was settled, the Burkinabes were 5-3 victors.

Our closest neighbours in the north went ahead to face Nigeria in the grand finale, and lost by a narrow 0-1 margin to claim the silver medals. Since then, every match between the Burkinabes and Ghana in every game has become a serious battle.

No wonder, when it was announced that the Black Stars B team would meet the Junior Falcons in the 2018 Championship of African Nations (CHAN) qualifiers, it raised eyebrows everywhere.

 Some call them the Black Stars nemesis and others think they are like their seniors who have suddenly become a thorn in the flesh of the Black Stars and are always poised for victory. No wonder, as the boys were gathered to face their nemesis, assistant national coach Maxwell Konadu realised that  the task ahead was not a joke and while the local Black Stars (now called Black Stars B) were camped at Prampram, their counterparts took the assignment so serous and decided to train in Morocco but shockingly some of our boys took their bags and baggage and joined  the exodus train to some East and South African countries for trials and possible contracts.

 Konadu had cause to complain bitterly over the new trend, but continuously expressed confidence in  those left in his care at the camp. True to prediction, Coach Konadu went and tested the grounds of the Burkinabes in their capital Ouagadougou and came out with 2-2 draw. Thanks to the resilience of  stars such as Gideon Waja, goalkeeper Joseph Addo, Saddick Adams, Patrick Razak, Thomas Abbey, Amos Frimpong, Winful Cobbinah, and others.

Twice the Black Stars B took the lead, and allowed their opponents to level up leaving the chance of qualifying on the second leg slated for Kumasi over still dicey.

I say there are no minnows in the game, and it would be suicidal for the Black Stars  B to think that playing at home with all the support would be in the favour. The boys missed the tournament two years ago and are dreaming of qualifying this time, no matter how.

 Source: Graphiconline.com



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Africa

Ghana: Kwesi Appiah defends continued exclusion of Ayew brothers!

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In recent months, the Ghanaian selection has had bad results. Some players were ousted by the coach whose brothers Jordan and André Ayew. Ghana coach James Kwesi Appiah defended the continued exclusion of the Black Stars Ayew brothers.

The 57-year-old tactician did not call Andrew and his younger brother, Jordan, because the duo was out of Ghana’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Congo-Brazzaville for injuries and illnesses .

André and Jordan, who play for England’s West Ham United and Swansea City, respectively, were also dismissed by Appiah when he played for the African Cup of Nations (CAN) in 2013.

However, Appiah said in an interview with KweseESPN that he is simply doing what he thinks is in the best interest of the team.

« Someone I call, people will complain, it’s something I’m used to, » Appiah said. « There are so many players doing very well and there is no way I can call everyone. « .

The Black Stars endured a disappointing World Cup qualifying campaign that saw the West African side fail to reserve its place in next year ‘s final.

« The most important thing is that I have to make good selections with those who are good for this team as the head coach, » he continued.

« And do not allow people to complain about influencing it. If I have to worry about it, I’ll call a hundred players.  »

It remains to be seen whether Appiah will remember the Ayew brothers before the CAN 2019 CAN qualifier against Kenya in October of next year.

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Africa

Eto’o vs Drogba: Who has scored more doubled, tripled and quadrupled?

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We will never end comparing these two monuments of African football. Didier Drogba and Samuel Eto’o remain two phenomena of the African sport king and continue to thrill the fans. Africa Sports plunges back into the numbers to shine. Pending the verdict of the numbers, who of the two has more than doubled, tripled and quadrupled in their respective careers?

Out of a total of 845 games, former indomitable Lions captain Samuel Eto’o has planted 412 goals in his career in all competitions. The striker of Antalyaspor has 7 doubled, 8 triplets and a quadrupled (Nov 8, 2008: Barcelona 6-0 Real Valladolid).

Opposite, the Ivorian Didier Drogba also presents similar figures even if he has never managed a quadrupled. In a total of 783 games, the former captain of the Elephants of Ivory Coast, scored 362 goals in his career including 8 doubled, 7 triplets and 0 quadruplets.

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Africa

old Ducrocq – « Okocha pretended to defend »

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In the After Foot Monday night, Pierre Ducrocq briefly returned to his experience with Jay-Jay Okocha. The Parisian community spoke of the talent of the Nigerian, but also his low propensity to defend.
Pierre Ducrocq and Jay-Jay Okocha rubbed shoulders between 1998 and 2001 until the Frenchman’s departure. The two men were probably one of the most beautiful midfield pairs in the 1999-2000 season, after which PSG finished second in the championship. A good memory for the player trained at the club. Even if he had to kill the work for two.

« It was not a labor war thunderbolt »

During the show « After Foot » on RMC and BFM Sport, the discussion turned on the experience of Ducrocq with his Nigerian partner, for which he admires: « I watched him play, he pretended to defend but I did not I was not bothered because I knew his qualities that I did not have, and vice versa, so we were complementary, maybe he’s the player with the most qualities I’ve seen.  »

Ducrocq knows that the old number 10 could go higher: « He had a hair in his hand, he was not a thunderbolt working war, but he was a genius, an artist. he had, he could do a lot, a lot more.  » He shone against Bordeaux Columnist Daniel Riolo recalled the two superb goals scored by Okocha against Bordeaux (one in Gironde since his arrival in August 1998, the other at the Park in September 1999). We invite you to see them again.



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