Special Olympics: Ghana lose bronze medal

Author: George Ernest Asare, Abu Dhabi
Ghana's Special Olympics team
Ghana's Special Olympics team

Ghana's quest to win bronze in the seven-a-side football at the Abu Zayed Sports Arena yesterday fell on the rocks when they lost 1-2 to Thailand in the third place match.

After drawing 2-2 with Germany on Monday to qualify for the medal zone, the Ghanaians were pitched against Senegal for the third place match but the pairing was changed at the last minute with the explanation that the Senegalese, who had seven points just like Thailand, had a head-to-head advantage over Thailand, hence the need for them to play in the grand finale against Hungary for the gold medal.

That notwithstanding, the Ghanaians were poised to wrest the bronze medal from Thailand who shared the points with them in their opening match.

With Thailand also determined to outwit Ghana, both teams started attacking each other right from kickoff and created series of goal-scoring opportunities that were wasted.

However, Thailand, which looked more purposeful in attack,succeeded in breaking the deadlock through Autihin Sinchia midway in the first half.

The goal brought out the best from the Thais who surged forward in droves and pinned their opponents in their own half..
A few minutes later, Pendaitooh Thanawut increased the tally for Thailand with a powerful drive which caught goalkeeper Samuel Ackon flat-footed.

Back from recess, the Ghanaians gained confidence and combined beautifully in attack, hoping to reduce the tally.
The combination between Constant Hevi and Hamza Mohammed finally yielded results later in the half when the latter latched onto a pass and drove a powerful shot to hit the back of the net.