Tag: Andre Ayew


AFCON 2015: Ghana so near yet so far…

Blackstars lose in the cruellest fashion but there is genuine cause for optimism..

Another tournament comes and goes, another dose of heartbreak for the Black Stars. As our famous uncle would say, in the final of AFCON 2015 our pain was ‘delivered fresh, from nature god’. Social media following the AFCON final was a mess – people from certain countries (no names mentioned) decided to emerge from their shadowed dwellings after the final whistle to rub salt into wounds. Many Ghanaians played another round of ‘Let’s Find Who We Can Burn At The Stake This Time – AFCON Edition’. Others blamed Mahama. While others simply logged off and went to bed.

hi-res-4a3c983840d5ab3d32c03c57bbf1cdcf_crop_northDespite an encouraging number of people who could reason, many were lost in the horde of the confused, the hurt, and the impulsive.

Which is fair enough. The manner in which Ghana threw away a two-penalty advantage, was reminiscent of beginning to dream of history being made only to watch Asamoah Gyan’s penalty kick in 2010 soar past the goalkeeper, past the crossbar, and past the roof of the stadium. Categorically gutting. Ghana weren’t just close; the craftsman may as well have started crafting our name into the cup. We weren’t just within touching distance – we all practically started planning what posts we would upload, what kente we would wear into work the next day, how amazing Ghana Independence this year would be.

But alas. It was not to be. Again.

So the impulsivity of the reaction, and the rawness of the pain is understandable. But as with many things, sometimes the morning after brings so much clarity to the events of the night before. And when it comes to reviewing Ghana, that is what is needed – clarity. And perspective.

It’s easy to be short-termist when it comes to football. Heroes rise and fall with unnerring speed – daily, weekly, monthly. The manner in which Ghana lost out in the final can cause many to fall into the trap of finding a new scapegoat, a new villain to verbally flog – all while losing sight of the bigger picture…
…which is the fact that Ghana arrived at Equatorial Guinea for AFCON 2015 still bruised from an underwhelming, disappointing and disjointed World Cup campaign, smeared with the tar which poured from allegations of corruption and reports of dissent and infighting amongst the ranks. Ghana entered this competition as the least-favoured to escape what had been anointed by most as the tournament’s ‘Group of Death’. Many poured scorn on Ghana’s chances following the draw of the group. Avram Grant himself dampened expectations going into the tournament, imploring everyone that this was a tournament about assessing the team, about development, about building towards a better future.

255F825900000578-2941812-Ghana_players_celebrate_in_front_of_coach_Avram_Grant_en_route_t-a-58_1423173831453We kicked off the first game expecting nothing…

And yet not only did we escape the Group of Death, we came out standing tall and proud in first place.
We battled past Guinea 3-0 in the quater-finals.
We eviscerated the hosts of the competition in front of a bipartisan (and as we eventually saw, bitter and disgraceful) crowd, without captain Gyan on the pitch.

We finished the tournament finalists.

We fell to the 11th spot-kick taken by Ivory Coast. For 120 minutes, and until Razak missed his penalty, we stood toe-to-toe with an Ivory Coast team who are renowned and revered as the most experienced and accomplished football team amongst the African nations, captained by Yaya Toure who is such an awesome tour-de-force of a footballer he has won African Player of the Year for the last 4 consecutive years.

Christian Atsu solidified his burgeoning reputation on the world scene by emerging from AFCON 2015 as the official Player of the Tournament. And who could fail to be moved by the visceral outpouring of passion and desire by Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew, as he screamed fierce encouragement to his troops during the shoot-out before being overcome by the pain of defeat at the final whistle.

Sure, it doesn’t take away from the pain. It doesn’t do much to depreciate the idea that we are becoming the Bridesmaid of African football, so favoured, so pretty and alluring, and yet always falling short of finally becoming the Bride. We have had our fair share of misfortune and hurt in recent years, as anyone who bore witness to the Suarez 2010 quarter-final can attest to. This final was another dose of exquisitely-devastating heartbreak, as we failed once again to emerge victorious from the Russian Roulette that is the penalty shoot-out.

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But Ghana came out of this AFCON tournament proud. Even prouder and in better shape than the last time we were finalists in 2010. We’ve got our spark back. Throughout the tournament, and especially with regards to our conduct during the disgusting antics of Equatorial Guinea, Ghana redeemed itself in the eyes of the world. Our reputation has been mended. Defensively, we look sounder. In Razak, (penalty kick aside, and not falling foul to short-termism in only focusing on the kick) we have an assured goalkeeper who looks as good as any on the continent. Atsu’s star will continue to soar. Dede Ayew is an awesome captain-in-waiting, developing into a man who can emulate the exploits of his legendary father.

The team looks stronger. The team will get better. AFCON 2015 saw Avram Grant and the Black Stars push the reset button. Our time as the Bride will come soon enough. The future is bright.

Jermaine Bamfo (@DrJabz_27)

AFCON 2015: Ghana 1-0 Algeria…

Commeth the hour, Commeth the Gyan!

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Asamoah Gyan came off his sickbed to secure a dramatic late win for Ghana against Algeria in their second match in Group C. Ghana’s captain who had missed their opening game defeat to Senegal with a bout Malaria came up trumps again for the Black Stars with a goal which has breathed life into Ghana’s hopes of reaching quarter finals.

In a game of very few chances, Gyan snatched an unlikely victory when he latched on to a long ball from Mubarak Wakaso and angled in a drive in stoppage time.

Algeria missed the only other clear chance when Nabil Bentaleb side-footed well wide from 12 yards in the first half. The game had looked set to remain goalless until Gyan’s late strike. The striker has now scored in each of his last six games for the Black Stars,

In a very scrappy game Ghana failed to muster a single effort at goal in the opening period as the Algerian defence, well marshalled by returning captain Madjid Bougherra. Algeria were the better team in the first half but Ghana improved after the breaks. Howveer Gyan  could not direct a difficult diving header on target and dragged another shot well wide and Ghana striker Jordan Ayew flicked over an improvised volley at the near post after being set up by his brother Andre.

Algeria missed a Bentaleb fizzed a low shot wide of the right post after being played in by Brahimi. Thus it was left to Gyan to score the winner with a couple minutes to go in injury time

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At his post match press conference Ghana coach Avram Grant stated: Asamoah Gyan was not fit – he didn’t train like he needed to – but he’s Asamoah Gyan, if you look at the stats and his behaviour in the dressing room.

 

“You know I have been coach of some of the great players – he’s one of the greatest. First – he always scores when you need him. Second – he’s good for the spirit of the team – he’s a very good captain.”

So it’s all play to for on the last day in Group C with Ghana facing South Africa and Algeria up against Senegal. A win would secure a place in the quarter finals but a draw may still be enough.

In the Black Stars we trust!

Me Firi Ghana (@Me_FiRi_GHANA)

 

Meet the Ghana World Cup Squad 2014: Introducing Andre “Dede” Ayew

Wing Wizard!

Andre-new-AFCON7

He gave Ghanaians something to cheer about on Monday even if it was for only 4 Minutes. Andre “Dede” Ayew son of legendary Ghanaian footballer Abedi “Pele” Ayew sublime equaliser for Ghana against the USA gave us hope but it was not to be. The wing wizard and his team mates endured a frustrating night as for all their possession the final ball was not quite there and in then end his brilliantly worked goal was enough to avoid defeat.

Andre is a winger by trade but can also play in the “No.10” role behind a main striker. He is a talented player who possesses great balance and technical ability. Similar to his father he has an eye for goal but his record is not nearly impressive.

Ayew began his career at the tender age of ten playing for Nania, a club whom his father is currently the chairman of, in Accra, Ghana. After four years in the club’s youth academy, Ayew was promoted to the team’s senior squad at the age of 14. Ayew played at Nania for two seasons before departing the club and returning to France to play for his father’s former club Marseille.

798c19e9bca44d775d39cc2c790d28dfIt was at Marseille that Ayew began to make a name for himself. He made his debut for them in 2007 and spent a couple of seasons on the fringes of the squad before he was loaned out. However it was not until he returned in 2010 that he established himself in the first team and was voted Marseille Best Player for the season 2010–2011. He won two French cups in 2011 and 2012 and has racked up 34 goals for Marseille in his career including two hat-tricks,

Ayew is a seasoned Ghanaian international. At youth level, he  captained the Ghana under-20 team that won both the 2009 African Youth Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. At senior level, Ayew made his debut in August 2007 against Senegal in London. He has since represented Ghana at the 2008 and 2010 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2010 FIFA World Cup. On 16 December 2011, a day to his 22nd birthday, he was named the BBC African Footballer of the Year for 2011 and  was crowned as the Ghanaian Footballer of the Year.

He has 50 Caps for Ghana with 6 goals and can add to that tally in Ghana’s forthcoming games against Germany and Portugal. He will need to be at his dynamic best if Ghana are to overcome what is now a daunting task to qualify for the second round.

#LetsGoalGhana

Ben JK Anim-Antwi(@Kwesitheauthor)

Analysis of the Black Star’s football match

Ghana V Malawi: Christian Atsu shines as Ghana edge closer to CAN 2013 Finals

 

The Black Stars of Ghana moved closer to a place at CAN 2013 with a 2-0 win over Malawi in Accra in the final round first leg of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier. Asamoah Gyan captained the side in his first appearance since returning from a self-imposed break but it was Christian Atsu of FC Porto who stole the show with a fine performance.

He gave Ghana the perfect start, settling any nerves with the opener after just eight minutes to celebrate his first home match for Ghana. The Porto player tapped in from a close range shot from Olympique Marseille’s Andre Ayew. Although the Black Stars were in the lead with Atsu creating several chances, Malawi to their credit defended with vigilance to ensure that they went  into the half time interval with the same score line at one nil.

In the second half With Malawi sitting deep and seeking to soak up Ghana pressure, Ghana were made to work for their second, which fell the way of Anthony Annan only six minutes after the interval. Annan set the stadium alight with a 20-yard shot to make it 2-0 to the Black Stars.

Malawi’s cause was not helped when James Sangala was dismissed in the latter stages, and they now face a big ask if they are to reach the Cup of Nations finals for only the third time in their history.

Meanwhile look in a strong position to qualify for CAN 2013 and the performance of Atsu will come as a boost to coach Kwesi Appiah as he considers his midfield options. Atsu showed just why clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur were interested in signing him this summer.

The second leg will take place between 12-14 October 2012 in Malawi. In the Black Stars we trust!

Until next time…

Continuing the sports theme Me Firi Ghana presents a night of cultured debate when The Future of Sport Debate forum takes place on Friday 21 September 2012 at 6pm at the Chelsea Theatre, 7 World’s End Place, Kings Road, London, SW10 0DR. If you are Ghanaian, have a love for Ghana and are you passionate about the Future of Ghana. Then you really need to be here. For more information and tickets log on to – http://futureofghana.eventbrite.com

 

Do you have an OPINION, IDEA or BUSINESS that can help shape the Future?

There is only one place to be…

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Inspirational People:

THE GHANA BLACKSTARS!

 

The Ghana Black Stars

 

Ok so I’m aware that when it comes to the Ghana Blackstars, sometimes Ghanaians don’t want to hear it, since they many missed opportunities at the African Cup of Nations.

But come on, it’s inspirational Month& Ghana Independence Month so let’s be inspired. So please read on…

 

Let’s take it back to the unforgettable, 2010 World Cup, Ghana became one of the few African team to reach the World Cup Quarter finals. Yes, Ghana had to pay the penalty, but enough about that.

The courage, bravery and determination each player possessed during the World cup made the Ghanaian nation proud. Ghana had the whole of Africa behind them, Nigeria, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya… The whole Africa united, rooting for GHANA.

All the players, especially Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan, John Paintsil, John Mensah, Andre Ayew…and not to forget the others – they all inspired me. WHY? Because, young boys like my little brother want to score a wicked goal like Asamoah Gyan. WHY? Because in my eyes they did not let us down, but showed true bravery and determination to make Ghana’s mark in football history.

Football is not easy.  In order for the Black Stars to get as far as the World cup, they had to qualify to play, and that itself was a lot of hard work. We have to praise them more… Give them more *VIM* So next time they can come back BIGGER, BETTER & STRONGER

The Black stars fought hard to make Ghana’s Mark in Football History.

MeFiRi GHANA are proud to say the Ghana Blackstars have inspired us!!

Have they inspired you? If yes then tweet us @MeFiRiGHANA & say why.

 

BY CLOUDIA

Ghana vs Chile: 29/02/12

Ghana v Chile_Me_FiRi_GHANA_dot_comOn Monday February 27th, 2012, The Ghana national team will be in New York to prepare for their upcoming friendly on Wednesday. The Ghana-Chile Press conference will be take place at team hotel at 5:30pm. The training portion of the schedule will commence at the Yankee Stadium from 6-7pm where the 18-man squad called up for the Ghana-Chile Friendly is as follows:

Goalkeepers:
Adam Kwarasey (Strømsgodset, Norway), Daniel Agyei (Liberty Professionals, Ghana)

Defenders:
John Paintsil (Leicester City, England), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege, Belgium), Masahudu Alhassan (Genoa, Italy),
Lee Addy (Dalian Aerbin, China), John Boye (Rennes, France), Jonathan Mensah (Evian TG, France)

Midfielders:
Afriyie Acquah (Palermo, Italy), Derek Boateng (Dnipro, Ukraine), Anthony Annan (Vitesse, Netherlands),
Kwadwo Asamoah (Udinese, Italy), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan, Italy), Andre Ayew (Marseille, France)

Strikers:
Jordan Ayew (Marseille, France), Emmanuel Baffoe (New Edubiase, Ghana),
Richard Mpong – (Medeama, Ghana) Dominic Oduro (Chicago Fire, US)

National team players have obtained their visas except; Coach Pavi, Emmanuel Baffour and Richard Mpong

”The Ghana Football Association can confirm that Mr. Goran Stevanovic, head coach of the Black Stars and two other players; Emmanuel Baffour and Richard Mpong are yet to secure U.S. traveling visas.”

The FIFA international friendly is set to take place on Wednesday, February 29, 2012.

GHANA (23rd ranked) VS. CHILE (12th ranked)
{FIFA International Friendly}

Venue: PPL PARK {Philadelphia, USA}
Kickoff: 7:00pm

By Marfioso

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Ghana Football News: Weekly Update

In this week news update,

1. Andre Ayew Shines in Champions league
2. Tunisian side and Harrison Afful  ready to shine at the FIFA Club WorldCup Japan 2011
3. Ghana National Team Captain talks up chances ahead of CAN 2012
4. Stephen Appiah on the verge of realizing his premiership dream
5. The big announcement is around the corner
6. Asamoah Gyan lights it up in the UAE

1. Ghana International Andre #Ayew scores in #ChampionsLeague in the 85′ as Marseille come back from 2 goals down to win 3-2. Dede Ayew has now scored 9 goals this season. 6 in the French league, 3 in the champs league.

2. The Kings of African Football (Espérance) are ready to show their skills! The Tunisan side represented Africa at the FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 {December 8-18 2011} Espérance ST – Al-Sadd SC {Match 3} Sun Dec 13 7:30pm Japan time/ 5:30am eastern/ 11:30am Ghana time. They also had Ghana International, Harrison Afful in defence. He scored the only goal in the final to win the 2011 CAF African Champions League.

3. Ghana captain John Mensah, insists the Blackstar of Ghana are braced for a tough task of winning the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations  despite the absence of big names.

4. ‘Capito’ is close to realizing his dream of playing in the Premiership  Former Ghana Captain Stephen Appiah, is on the verge of joining Barclays Premier League club, Blackburn in an effort to boost the midfield. The 31 year old has had trials at Ewood Park and the Rovers are looking to secure the midfielder on a 1-yr contract. Appiah impressed and was told by Blackburn boss Steve Kean that he has to work on his fitness level. ‘He has been working at the Presby Boy Senior High School Park in Legon to step up his fitness before joining the club.’ Appiah has returned home to Ghana to bury his father, who passed away last month, before completing the move.

5. Ghana National team coach ‘Plavi’ Goran Stevanovic selected the 23-man squad for the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea. Plavi was expected to meet the FA next week {Tues. December 13} to defend his decisions. He will after, then hold a press conference with members of the media on {Thurs. December 15} (full report coming soon!)

6. Shoutout to Ghana international, Asamoah Gyan who converted an 11’ penalty for Al Ain. Then his Teammate Scocco added a 2nd in the 32’ via volley. BabyJet and Al-ain ended this game 2-0 v. Diego Maradona’s Al Wasl. This win has put them in 2nd place in the UAE Top flight League. Gyan has scored 6 goals so far this season.

This is the week’s news for Ghanaian footballers in Europe.

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