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Black Stars made us proud

BY: Daily Graphic
File photo
File photo

The senior national team, the Black Stars, changed the mood of the entire nation yesterday[November 28, 2022] with a scintillating performance against a tough South Korean side at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.

The Black Stars shone brighter when it mattered most by holding their own against the marauding Asians, leading to a hard-fought 3-2 victory which gave them a timely Group H lifeline in the ongoing Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. The wild celebrations which resonated among Ghanaians across the globe underlined the importance of the difficult win which saw the Koreans stage a late rally in a bid to avoid defeat after a dramatic second half comeback.

Prior to this crucial second group match, the Black Stars knew too well that only a win would save their World Cup dream, and their determination throughout the tough battle gave credence to that. Not even the typical fighting spirit of their swift and gritty opponents could make any difference in the tension-packed game which attracted 11 minutes added time.

In yesterday’s Editorial, we took time to assess Ghana’s chances against the hard-running Koreans and went further to charge the players to go all out to secure the much-needed victory and remain resolute against the expected tough opposition. And as we rightly predicted, the Asians came attacking in droves as if they were possessed until the final whistle.

While commending Coach Otto Addo and his technical team and the playing body for working hard to snatch their first three points at the tournament, it is our earnest expectation that they would keep up the momentum to make Ghanaians and Africans in general happier. We wish to remind them that they only won a battle, not the war. At this stage of the competition, they have many battles ahead to fight and win in order to remain in contention for the ultimate prize and also stand a chance of making more money for themselves and the nation.

For instance, just qualifying from the group stage to the Round of 16 would guarantee the nation a whopping US$13 million, while players and officials of the team will be home and dry with a special qualifying bonus package as top-up to their $100,000 appearance fees. If for nothing at all, we believe the financial remuneration should be enough motivation to drive the Black Stars to continue with their exploits in Qatar.

Having exhibited their potential in their first two encounters against Portugal and South Korea, which has made them the toast of fans, we strongly believe the Ghanaians have the quality to go far in the tournament and, therefore, urge them to remain focused on their set targets. Though a young team and even the youngest at the ongoing tournament per the statistics, the Black Stars have so far proved that they have quality to hold their own against any opposition.

With their confidence boosted by yesterday’s feat, we have no doubt that the Stars can add Uruguay to their list of victims in their last group match on Friday to send shivers down the spine of their future opponents. This is against the background of the fact that Ghana have an axe to grind with the South Americans following the infamous ordeal meted out to them by Luis Suarez at the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup. That dastardly act denied Ghana an opportunity to make history as the first African country to reach the semi-finals and that incident has since left a bitter taste in the mouth of Ghanaians for revenge.

We, therefore, add our voice to this clarion call by Ghanaians for a fitting revenge against Uruguay on Friday and urge the Black Stars to psyche themselves up for another nerve-racking battle which they must win at all cost to fulfil a national wish.