Sunday, June 27, 2010

The best African team

I am an unapologetic fan of the Black Stars and I wish I had been in Accra for the post-match celebrations! Instead I was in a pub in Copenhagen, but still delighted at the Ghanaian victory after extra time.
I have for ages been saying on this blog that Ghana is the best African football nation, and now they are among the top eight in the world, something I was nevertheless not expecting: I thought USA had shown stronger fighting spirit and that the Americans would ultimately prevail against Ghana's inefficiency and personal mistakes. But I could not have been more wrong: Ghana's young players have learned to pace themselves in such a tournament from their already strong experience in Africa's Cup and diverse youth world cups (and they are u-21 world champions, let us not forget!), and play with the at-times necessary cynicism. Even when USA put pressure on the Ghanaians, these did not lose their heads, and even better, they punished the US mistakes that I was expecting the Ghanaians to make.
Playing like this Ghana could go all the way, but it will certainly not be easy in a quarterfinal against a Uruguay side that is also extraordinary in pacing their game, experience, and some extraordinary strikers!
In the meantime, congratulations Ghana!

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