Sunday, May 31, 2009

Review: Ghana (U-23) 3 - South Africa (U-23) 5

I sat behind my telly yesterday afternoon wondering if I was watching the African champions playing.

Ghana's Black Satellites (under 20) are the current champions after winning in Rwanda.

As part of their winning package, they've got a free ticket to represent Africa in Egypt at the World Youth Championships later this year.

And in preparation, Ghana decided to play South Africa's under 23 in Accra. South Africa's team - the Amajita - had good reason to accept to play the Stars. Ghana beat them in Rwanda in a very very entertaining game. They weren't kicked out, but it was a setback. Ghana, of course, went on to win the tourney.

I met the game after it had started. South Africa were 3-1 up and had all the possession. Our defense was spineless. Soon, Ghana scored. 3-2. Not long after, South Africa had a penalty and chucked it away. 4-2.

It was getting a bit embarassing but soon Ghana a had a penalty of their own and Daniel Addo scored. 4-3.
Ghana 3 - 5 South Africa
Venue: Ohene Djan stadium, Accra

Team Ghana: Robert Dabou, Daniel Addo, Samuel Kyere, Alhassan Karim/Musah Inusah, James Bissue, Ekow Benson/Latifu Salifu, Gladson Awako, Larbi Koomson, Sadat Karim/Issac Donkor, Ghandy Kassenu

Team South Africa: Thela Ngobeni, Ramahlwe Mphalele, Njabulo Ntusi, Sibisiso KhiDumalo, Thulani Hlatshanayo, Andile Jali, Daylon Claasen, Thulane Serero/Philane Khwela, Mandla Masango, Sameechs Toufie, Kermit Erasmus/Thulani Ngcepe

Sellas Tetteh was standing in the cool breeze with the Atlantic Ocean 1000 meters away. But he was fidgeting in his internal heat. His several subs seemed to be working.

Then the killer blow came. The southerners made it 5-3. They were cruising. Ghana was disbelieving. Game over

In the post-match interviews, Sellas Tetteh said Ghana could learn from the defeat.

“I was pleased with the reaction of the boys in the second half as they showed commitment and a desire to fight. That was a good response from them against a technically good side.

“But we made too many mistakes and had problems with our centre back pairing. We can only build on this. It was good to bring on new local players and try them. When they full squad assembles, we would be up there.

“The target is the World Championship, so we have to work towards that.”

The truth of the matter is that Ghana was defenceless. Without the foreign based contingent Ghana looks very pale indeed. Is the local talent not good enough without Ransford Osei, Dominic Adiyiah et al?

It looks so.

As for the Amajita, they were delighted and rightly so.

After the 4-3 we lost to Ghana in Rwanda, we came here with the intention of winning, said the Amajita coach Serame Letsoaka

We made good use of our good chances and we are happy with the result.

Even one of their players, Kermit Erasmus, scored twice - and on his debut. Their next game is against in Uruguay. Ghana plays Venezuela next.

Maybe, both teams would meet again in Egypt for a part three of their 2009 meetings.