Friday, June 23, 2006

Ghana 2, USA 1

You know, after that last entry I honestly thought things couldn’t possibly get any crazier here.... And then yesterday Ghana beat the USA 2-1, making it the first and only African team to advance to the second round.

I’m not going to lie and say there weren’t tears welling in my eyes as the final whistle sounded and the broadcast became dubbed over by the theme song (which was, of course, mostly drowned out by the shouts and cheers of everyone around me). What a moment! Everyone is bouncing off the walls and has been since yesterday; it seems no-one has stopped smiling or laughing since the final whistle blew. This means so much for every Ghanaian and the hope this country has for its team is almost overwhelming.

I also got a shirt made from a local guy. Pretty cool, eh? I asked him to mimic the Black Stars’ uniforms and am really impressed with how it turned out… Stephen Appiah is the Ghanaian team captain and is an absolute workhorse out there in midfield. He also scored the winning goal today over the #5 ranked team in the world! So far the shirt has been overwhelmingly well received; and the shouts of “nansaalah!have been replaced with “Appiah! Appiah!!”—a welcome change. The shirt has had the added bonus of ensuring that I won’t hear from fans like the one I mentioned in the last entry, since everyone now is 100% sure what side I support.

Right now I’m writing this at our NGO’s office. The local cell-phone provider, ONETouch, has given everyone unlimited free calls until 12noon in celebration of the Black Stars’ victory. The result is that everyone in the office has been on the phone all morning calling everyone on their contact list. All the other EWB volunteers use another network called Areeba, though, so I don’t really have anyone else to call…. Meanwhile I just glanced down to see a stack of Daily Graphic newspapers from over the past week; 6 of the 7 papers’ front pages are exclusively about the Black Stars.

(I left the picture of the papers back home in Hain, so will add it next time I’m in a city.)

So after beating the #2 and #5 ranked teams in consecutive games, Ghana must play Brazil, the #1 ranked team in the world. Not exactly an easy schedule. You think everyone here would be worried that the odds are against them. But, yet again, everyone I’ve talked to is quick to point out that Ghana’s under 17 team has a winning record against Brazil over the past ten years. They say they usually are almost always able to control possession against Brazil and the deciding factor is usually whether or not the strikers can finish, which hasn’t been a problem as of late against the other top teams. Basically, most Ghanaians are more than confident that their team can handle Brazil.

Let’s just hope they’re right…


At 1:08 p.m., Anonymous Anonymous said...

More than slightly depressing to read this almost a week later and know the answer... Hopefully they took it well?

At 1:39 p.m., Blogger Bryn Ferris said...

Yeah, sorry about that but it's hard to upload posts right away.

Surprisingly, they took it very well, especially considering the fact that the referee trio essentially ensured that Ghana couldn't win. People threw parties to celebrate anyway and Ghana's generally optimistic attitude shone through....

At 2:52 p.m., Blogger Emily said...

Well and comeon- what would there be to be disappointed about? Going in 48th, beating the 2nd and 5th seeded teams convincingly? Having the opportunity to play against 1st seed (and supposite favorite to win?) I dunno man, I'd be celebrating regardless!

Now that we know what they can do, they should be throwin together a hockey team and try and beat us . . .


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