You are here: HomeNews2013 10 17Article 289080

Opinions of Thursday, 17 October 2013

Columnist: Kesse, Nana Yaw

What made the trick for Ghana

By: Nana Yaw Kesse (

Tuesday, 15th October, 2013 will go down in the annals of history as the day Ghana Black Stars made history by trashing the Pharaohs of Egypt by 6 goals to 1 akin to what Kotoko did to Zamalek in the 80s when they trashed them by 5 goals to 1 at the Kumasi Sports Stadium. The Egyptians will obviously classify 15th October as the “Kumasi Massacre” or something of that sort.

The basic question people have been asking is what made the trick for Ghana? Many factors may have accounted for the victory, including many extraneous factors outside the control of the Black Stars. However the single most important factor was that Ghana was clinical in front of goal. We should rewind to most Black Stars matches and think about all the goals we squandered even in 1-on-1 situations.

Other intricately linked factors are as follows:

1. Warris: the dude plays like a ghost. You don't see him but he's swift like a jet. He ghosts past defenders like they don't exist and appears in vital areas to cause damage. He's added a vital purposeful threat to Ghana's attack.

2. Gyan led the attack very well and was clinical. He was not profligate as he can be sometimes. Moreover opposing defenders overly concentrate on Gyan and that frees Warris and leaves him to appear out of nowhere to cause damage.

3. The return of the "maestros". The return of the likes of Essien, Muntari and Ayew has provided the team with the needed experience, confidence, tenacity and drive. Essien brings stability in the team, ability to break attacks and then drive forward menacingly with purpose. Essien hasn't lost anything at all.

In the Capital One Cup where he captained Chelsea, respected pundits described his performance as that of a leader and matured. Sitting on the bench in Chelsea is probably a blessing in disguise for Ghana because he looks fresh, unlike those days when he had to be the engine for Ghana and then rush back to be the train at Chelsea. He's also playing with more hunger like he must silence people who doubt his abilities. Dede Ayew brings grit to the team. He tracks every ball, battles like a soldier and releases passes that splits defence like what released Essien for the 2nd goal. He also harasses defenders and hurries them. Muntari drives fear in opponents with his no nonsense approach, goal threats and experience needed to help grind out results.
4. Deep bench: Allied to point 3 is the issue of a deep bench. For the first time in a while we had a bench capable of causing fear and panic. Our weakness at AFCON was that we didn't have a bench! Our team was like “fr3fr3 kobc”.
5. Team work and unity of purpose. The team played for each other. They smelt blood and went for the kill. They had the big picture in mind.... an unquenchable desire to play at the World Cup.
Finally, to make us a truly world class team we need to sort out the defence. Hopefully, the return of John Boye, Jonathan Mensah and co should take care of the problem.

About the Writer
Nana Yaw Kesse is the head of Marketing & Corporate Affairs at First Capital Plus and an avid soccer enthusiast.