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Date: 25 April 2019

  World - Soccer

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Ghana! The Brightest star on the African Sky!

[Posted 23 Jun 2010]
Ghana! The Brightest  star on the African Sky!

By Brighton Mupangavanhu

Ghana became the first, and will soon prove to be the only African team to have qualified for the World Cup's last 16 in the first ever World Cup on African soil.

The Black Stars finished second in Group D, behind log leaders Germany who beat them 1-0 at the Soccer City Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Black Stars, who came to this match needing just a single point to make it into the last 16, battled superbly in an entertaining first half in which they stretched the Germans to the limit and went to the break goalless. A defensive approach in the seocnd half saw Ghana defending deep in their own half, thus handing the Germans the initiative and it was a matter of time before the Germans scored the opener. That opener arrived in the 60th minute when Mesut Ozil found acres of space inside the box with the Ghana defence retreating, and his rising shot gave Kingson no chance.

Ghana tried to rally from a goal down, but the Germans, always efficient at defending, just showed why they are considered the best defensive team in the world. They smothered every Ghanaian attack with superb marshalling of defence led by Schweinsteiger and Friedrich. Ghana did miss a lot of gilt-edged chances in the second half with Ande Ayew, Prince Tagoe and Asamoah coming pretty close to scoring.

In the other Group D match, Australia redeemed themselves from a horrible opening match performance in which they were humiliated 1-4 by Germany, with a 2-1 win over Serbia, which sent Ghana through on goal difference. Australia and Ghana both finished on 4 points, but Ghana had a superior goal difference of 0 against the Socceroos' -3.

With South Africa having finished third in Group A and out of the World Cup despite a 2-1 spirited triumph over France in Bloemfontein yesterday, and other African teams having equally disappointed in this tournament, Ghana lifted the spirits of African fans with their qualification into the last 16.

Ghana have now progressed twice in a row to the second round of the World Cup in only their second appearance at this tournament. Their first appearance was at the Germany 2006 World Cup where they were knocked out in the second round by Brazil.

The Black stars will hope to do better against a struggling England whom they engage in the last 16. Unless England step up their performance, Ghana look poised to be only the 3rd team from Africa to qualify for the quarterfinals of a World Cup.Only Cameroon and Senegal have achieved that feat in 1990 and 2002 respectively. Ironically Cameroon failed to go beyond quarterfinals in 1990 after losing to England in extra time. Ghana hope to erase such painful memories for many African supporters by claiming the sculp of the Three Lions in their second round encounter. The whole continent will be behind the Black Stars, who have proved to be the brightest star on the African sky tonight.


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