Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Black Stars Qualify for World Cup 2010.

Last Sunday at the Ohene Gyan Sports Stadium in Accra, Ghana Black Stars became the first African nation to make it to the World Cup finals as they defeated the Desert Hawks of Sudan 2-0 in the Group D qualifiers. With Benin having held Mali to a 1-1 draw in Cotonou, the capital of Benin; Ghana needed a win to qualify for the 2010 showpiece in South Africa.

A first half strike by Sulley Muntari who plays his career football with Inter Milan FC in Italy set the Black Stars up as Michael Essien who also does same with my English Premier League team, Chelsea Football Club in London, England followed up with a fierce shot in the second period to help the four-time African champions book their tickets to travel for South Africa next year.

Victory at the Ohene Djan Stadium also booked a place for Ghana in next year’s Nations Cup as the FIFA World Cup qualifiers serve to determine the field for the continental championship with the top three finishers in each group qualifying for Angola.

The win confirmed Ghana's qualification even with two matches left to play in the African qualifying series as the Black Stars have kept a clean sheet after four games.

The Black Stars were given a scare when a back pass to goalkeeper Richard Kingson slipped under his boots but he was quick to clear it off his line. But after 14 minutes, The Black Stars were in the driving seat as Muntari run onto a pass from capito-de-Marshall; Stephen “Tornado” Appiah to score in the 14th minute past Sudan goalkeeper Hafez Ahmed.

Ghana’s defence build around John Mensah and Eric Addo pulled John Paintsil and Harrison Afful together as they were hardly threatened to end the half 1-0 for the Black Stars. Both sides returned to pitch for the second half with Ghana mounting the attack as Samuel Inkoom, playing on the right side of attack kept on pushing forward.

The Black Stars picked up two bookings, going to Muntari and Appiah. Six minutes into the start of the second half and Michael Essien doubled Ghana's lead when he unleashed a 20 yard strike from outside the box to make it 2-0. But Sudan sprung into life as they threatened Ghana just two minutes after the Black Stars' goal.

Stephen Appiah [still without a professional team and have been out of play for almost a year] was the first Ghanaian substitute as the captain was given a rousing applause as he made way for Laryea Kingston after 75 minutes having successfully captained the Black Stars qualify again for the World Cup finals.

As proceedings neared the final minutes, the fans packed into the Stadium started the Mexican wave with yet success recorded. Milovan Rajevac, the Serbian coach made a second change sending on Asamoah Gyan for Matthew Amoah with Haminu Draman replacing Sulley Muntari.

With qualification now in the bag the Black Stars can begin plotting their assault on second successive World Cup finals.

Line up: Richard Kingston, John Paintsil, Harrison Afful, Eric Addo, John Mensah, Anthony Annan, Samuel Inkoom, Michael Essien, Matthew Amoah/Asamoah Gyan, Stephen Appiah/Laryea Kingston and Sulley Muntari/Haminu Draman.

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

I am hoping a tour operator gets a good and an attractive package for us to be able to go cheer/support the Black Stars in South Africa 2010.

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