World Cup 2006 Blog

From our reporters in Germany

Glorious, glorious Ghana

paul_fletcher.gif NUREMBERG - I'll come clean straight away.

I went on holiday to Ghana last year and I loved the place to bits - even more so the people.

So this afternoon at the stadium in Nuremberg I was desperately hoping they would beat the USA and ensure that their first World Cup resulted in at least qualification fron the group stage.

What I was not expecting was a call from a Ghanaian friend of mine 90 minutes before kick-off asking if I could influence the music played over the PA system at the stadium.

nurembergusaspikeday16-003.jpg Highlife is a popular type of music in Ghana and John called me up to ask whether I could ensure some would be played before the match.

Clearly he has a very exaggerated sense of my importance.

As with a few of the African teams that I have seen, Ghana's numbers were swelled by support from elsewhere and plenty of Germans became Ghaniains for the day - wearing shirts, scarves and flags as though bona fide children of the fair city of Accra.

The actual Ghanaians in the crowd were understandably small in number but vocal, colourful and a credit to the tournament.

To be fair, the Americans were greater in presence and really did try to get behind their team - but without question the day belonged to the wonderful people of Ghana.

Afterwards in the mixed zone - the area where the press meets the players - the Ghana players were thrilled with their achievement.

In addition to the actual squad several prominent members of the Ghana government passed through the mixed zone - the Minister for Education, Sciences and Sports, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, for example, was more than happy to discuss his country's achievement.

Michael Essien, banned for the Black Stars match against Brazil, gave several interviews in an incredibly softly-spoken voice that contrasts starkly with his playing style.

Afterwards I bumped into a old friend who works for Metro TV in Ghana and ended up giving an interview on how I thought the Black Stars would fare against Brazil.

"Should Ghana just go for it against Brazil," asked Yaw.

"Umm, easier said that done," I replied.

As I left the ground I grabbed a quick word with Ghana football legend Adebi Pele. He is a great bloke and happily signed a 'Fletch and Ricco' Sport relief T-shirt.

He looked thrilled at his side's progress. No question, it was a great day for Ghana.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 01:44 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • Ian wrote:

I agree a great day for Ghana and a tragic day for English officials
http://englandfaninbarca.blogspot.com/

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 2.
  • At 01:47 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • Philip wrote:

Ghana vs. USA - what a match - what a great victory for Ghana! They will have won a lot of neutrals over as they are now the African team of the World Cup.

They display such energy and are not afraid to take the game to the opposition as we have seen in each of the group matches.

The only tragedy for them is that influential midfielder Michael Essien will be missing for their match against Brazil. He and Stephen Appiah have been fantastic in midfield.

I would encourage Ghana to continue their free attacking style of play against Brazil. They are blessed with some tremendous athletes and could shock the Brazilians with their approach.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 3.
  • At 02:04 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • Faris wrote:

No Essien is a big loss, but I'm sure the other Ghanians will make it up through sheer enthusiasm. Go Ghana Go.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 4.
  • At 04:10 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • The Gaffer wrote:

Paul:

Let's hope that Ghana can give Brazil a run for the money and to truly put African soccer on the world map.

You have to admit, though, that Ghana were fortunate during today's match against the USA. How Markus Merk thought Pimpong's fall in the box in the 46th minute was a penalty, I do not know.

However, Ghana deserves to go through simply because of their emphatic 2-0 win against Czech Republic.

Cheers,
The Gaffer
www.EPLTalk.com

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 5.
  • At 05:07 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • zargorn wrote:

I agree about the penalty. But 1-1 would have led to the same result.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 6.
  • At 05:47 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • Wes wrote:

Yes, Ghana only added a point to qualify for the second esp. with Italy winning against the Czech Republic.
Against Brazil I think it will be a totally different with Brazil looking better with every game but Ghana has nothing to lose so they should just go for it.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 
  • 7.
  • At 05:48 AM on 23 Jun 2006,
  • Wes wrote:

Yes, Ghana only needed a point to qualify for the second round esp. with Italy winning against the Czech Republic.
Against Brazil I think it will be a totally different game with Brazil looking better with every game but Ghana has nothing to lose so they should just go for it.

Complain about this post

Post a complaint

Please note Name and E-mail are required.

Required
Required (not displayed)
 

Post a comment

Please note name and email are required.

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

Required
Required (not displayed)
  Your email address will only be held by the BBC and will be used for the purpose of administering this blog site. The BBC may also contact you to further inquire about issues raised in mails posted to the blog. If you would like further information, please read the BBC's privacy policy
    

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC.co.uk