Denied by the Ref? Brave Black Stars lose out to Brazil in showpiece friendly..
Mike Dean! Is a name that will live long in the memory of many Ghanaian fans. He is of course the referee who yesterday sent off Ghanaian full back Daniel Opare and in many people’s eyes ruined what had the makings of a great game and of course Ghana’s chance of winning !.
As I took my seat next to OBE television’s Kwaku Ofosu-Asare in the media seating area the atmosphere was started to build in the stadium as the teams came out for the national anthems. I remember looking at my team sheet and comparing the two line-ups and it was clear the Brazilians had the most experienced team out on the pitch (Ronaldihnoand Lucio to name but a few as well as the exciting Neymar were all in the starting eleven) nevertheless I was quietly confident about the Ghana team and their chances.
The Black stars made a real positive start to the game with the team setting a good tempo and winning two early corners. Derek Boateng and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu looked like they were stamping their authority on the midfield whilst JordanAyew (brother of Andre Ayew) and Sulley Muntari were linking up well, with Daniel Opare looking lively on the left flank. So with 20 Minutes gone Ghana were clearly on top with Brazil not threatening too much, although they did have the ball in the net but goal was ruled out for off side. Then came the turning point as Daniel Opare received his second yellow card and was sent off! (I Didn’t even see the first to be honest) for a foul on Brazil’s captain Lucio this was greeted by a chorus of boos from the Ghanaian fans and left a sour taste in the mouth with a lot of people feeling disappointed they were now watching an uneven match.
How Ironic then that minutes after the dismissal Brazil would take the lead as Leandro Damaio drifted into space (which surely would have been covered by Daniel Opare in the left back position) unopposed to slot the ball coolly past Adam Kwarasey in the Ghana goal after a fine pass by Fernandihno. It was Damaio’s first goal for Brazil and I must say he took it really well.
At half time we were treated to scantily clad Brazilian samba dancers in the rain! It was compelling viewing J and went down well with all the men in the crowd !. So to the second half and the battle on the pitch was not the only battle going on. As Ghanaian and Brazilian fans took part in a chanting match in an attempt to drown out each other’s noise. I would say the Ghanaians won this contest as there were more variety to our chants, such as; “Away, Away”, “ we go score you, we go put pepperin your eyes”, “Brazil u don’t know da ting we are teaching you da ting” and a passionate rendition of the national anthem (hand on heart moment here).
Back to the action and Brazil picked up where they left off with Ghana looking like they were hanging on at times. Adam Kwaresey in the Ghana goal in particular was in inspired form keeping out Brazil with a string of superb saves notably from an Alexandre Pato header and Ronaldihno free kick. The Black stars however were resolute in their display and defended excellently with centre half Jonathan Mensah producing several last ditch tackles and keeping the score line to a respectable one, as the full time whistle blew both teams received ovations from the fans. Overall Brazil deserved their victory but there is no doubt the sending off changed the game and I maintain had Ghana had eleven players on the field for the whole of the match Brazil would have “seen pepper”!
I caught the last 5 minutes of the Ghanaian post match conference where Black stars Coach GoranStevanovic addressed reporters. Some of the topics discussed were the fine performance of the goalkeeper and whether given the fact Ghana had many injuries was this the best time to play Brazil just one full day after an important CAN qualifier?
I left the stadium feeling disappointed by the result but pleased with the performance in the circumstances. There were a few positives to take out of the match; Adam Kwarasey “man of the match” performance will do a lot to encourage us that there life after Richard Kingson. Jordan Ayew looked lively and dangerous on what was a rare start for him and the way in which our young squad acquitted themselves at the beginning of the game bodes well for the future.
Have your say on the match/views expressed and leave your comments below………
We personally feel that Ghana can really test the Brazilians. It is a shame however that Asamoah Gyan will not be playing having strained his thigh muscle against Ghana’s 2-0 win over Swaziland in the African Cup of Nations qualifier victory…
The press conference for the Ghana versus Brazil International friendly match took place on the evening of Wednesday 24 August 2011 at the Ghana High Commission. It was an opportunity for the media/journalists put their questions to a panel to clarify anything they wanted to know in regards to the match at Craven Cottage, Fulham FC on 05 September 2011.
In the firing line of the waiting media were; His Excellency Professor Kwaku Danso-Boafo, High Commissioner of Ghana to the UK, Ghana International player John Pantsil & Tina Sabouti, a representative from Kentaro sports agency (who have organised this match as part of Brazilian football teams world tour).
As ever Me FiRi GHANA were in the house to witness the proceedings and as me and JosephAninkwa (Me FiRi GHANA) took our seats just after 6pm the press conference was ready to commence. The three panellists were invited to say a few words on the match with the High commissioner assuring the media Ghana would be victorious and claiming he had assurance from John Pantsil (who looked nervous as this was said) himself !. Tina Sabouti said a few words about the game and why Brazil had selected Ghana as their opponents (we are one the best teams in the world according to Brazilian FA). Whilst John Pantsill promised a committed display from the Black stars as well as urging fans to come in their numbers.
By Ernest Simons
Then it was the turn of the media to ask the questions; and this where you the reader come in. As the question and answer session raised some interesting questions I thought would bring to a wider forum here is a selection of the main issues covered;
“ The publicity for the Brazil versus Ghana match has not been as good as previous matches”. Do you agree with this statement and do you think the match could have been publicised better ? How and when did you first hear about the match ?
Is Craven cottage a viable venue for a match of this magnitude, Brazil played their last friendly match in London at the Emirates in North London. Surely this would have been a better alternative as it’s a bigger stadium”. Do you think Craven cottage is a suitable venue for this match or would you have preferred it to be played elsewhere in London?
“The black Stars friendlies always seem to be played in London of late, is there any chance for some games to take place in Accra”. Do you think Accra or any other city in Ghana deserve a piece of the action?
“Due to the success of the England versus Ghana game at Wembley, is there any plans for a return game ”. Do you think England and Ghana should play again and if so maybe the game should be played in Accra?
So we want to hear your thoughts on the above. What do you think? Get in touch via @www.mefirighana.com ,Facebook or Twitter and have your say on the Game and the Black stars friendly games in general.
Ps. I could not go without mentioning the the refreshments that were on offer after the conference. Provided by Serenity Catering the selection of food was of a high quality especially the Chicken! God knows how much pieces of chicken I had J
Brazil Vs Ghana at Fulham FC, Craven cottage Monday 5th September 2011, K.O 7.45pm. For ticket info go to; www.fulhamfc.com/tickets or call 0843 2081 234