Published On: Fri, Jun 27th, 2014

Did Ghana lose the Game off-field??

Muntari and Boateng-The 'Villains' - could they have saved the day?? Who was to blame?

Muntari and Boateng-The ‘Villains’ – could they have saved the day?? Who was to blame?

(by topi Lyambila)

Ghana’s Goalkeeper Dauda, produced a sterling performance in the game against Portugal and will be remembered for some great saves, but equally indeed all his good work, down the drain when he literary palmed the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo, who made no mistake  to seal not only Ghana’s but most probably the entire Continent’s fate in the Brazil 2014 world Cup.
The hopes of the Black Stars to amend for South Africa 2010 were blown away with minutes ticking on the clock. To many observers, this is nothing new.  Africans are bound to self-destruct, and Ghana, Cameroon are record examples of what not to do.
Questions shall and are already being asked about the expulsion from the Camp of veteran internationals Sulley Muntari and Prince Boateng, who were both instrumental in the qualifying rounds and progress in the group stage.  It was obvious that Ghana needed that finishing which would have been provided by the absentees.  Asamoah Gyan played his heart out, but there was nobody to hold fort in the midfield hence his running all over the pitch like a lunatic, providing pace and precision…he should have earned the player of the tournament hands down.
Portugal was a shadow of the paper-tigers they were painted to be, and I believe a full-squad Ghana would have massacred them, just like the Germans did in their game.
Gyan did not need any egging he had it all parked in, sadly not all his camp-mates had the passion that is needed to break through the ice-barrier that has kept Africa in the world soccer-cold!
For Cameroon it was the same story, in Italia 1990, consistent wrangles in camp, and as it merged much later had it not been for ‘reserve’ goalie Antoine Bell who sacrificed his chance in the team to play counsellor, it would have been disastrous.
Goalkeeping/Defense
I am still struggling with Eyeama’s performance, a man who had stopped all including Messi’s sizzler and then concede from almost the same spot to the same Messi???
Enyeama and Dauda could be  big fans of Spanish la liga and may be big admirers of Messi and  Cristiano Ronaldo respectively, but they should have found better gifts…not sacrifice the sweat of their teammates. Goalkeepers know the golden rule of tipping over the bar or punching it away …. but for Dauda it was more like palming down…while Enyeama settled for which way is it going!!!
Ghana’s Coach Appiah must face an inquiry…If I had the powers! Take the example of host team player Hulk who was reported to have walked out of the camp…. what happened, he was back in the side for the next game.   What diplomacy went on in the backyard is anybody’s guess., but it certainly paid off, because Brazil is bigger than those little myopic egos of coaches and players.
Ghana’s self-destruct mojo was also reflected in the Cup of Nations finals some time back when legendary hero and father to two of the most inspiring players in the side Abedi Pele was double-carded in the semi-finals, meaning he watched his last game for the Black Stars on the touchline.
There will be many talking points; but painfully is the realisation that Governance in Africa is a tall tale, whether its in the political or sports arena.   We can’t afford to continue burying our heads in the sand.  Something went wrong somewhere and Coach Appiah should be held responsible… He should have been the bigger man.  Observers are raising questions such as …could it have been different if it was a white coach in-charge?
Another question begs … it is only African sports teams that do not effectively use the services of a sports counsellor/psychologist … an independent person who could deal with differences especially at the height of competition and even during team selection. Such a person would have comfortably resolved the matter between Coach Appiah and the boys and the Continent’s star would still be shining.
So far Nigeria has done us proud…but Ghana’s presence would have made a load of difference, they have more depth than the Super Eagles.  My sincere hope is that the ‘Green’ Army builds on with the emergency of Emenike, and they should learn from Ghana that those silly Defensive lapses that dominated their campaign so far should be checked. And Enyeama’s spectator pose for Messi’s second free kick cannot be forgiven.
I still believe the winners will emerge from either Group A or Group G  no changes there and my coin is on the host team Brazil.  Between them I was hoping for  a dream final between Brazil and Ghana!!!
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Did Ghana lose the Game off-field??
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