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Soccer News of Monday, 4 February 2008

Source: Accra Mail

10 Men Against 12 and the Stars Triumphed

The whole nation went agog yesterday evening when the Black Stars clipped the wings of the Super Eagles of Nigeria by humbling them to a 2-1 defeat at the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra.

It was a tense and anxious match as the Black Stars fought the proverbial tooth and nail to snatch victory from the claws and beaks of the Eagles, who it must be admitted fought gallantly.

Ghanaians were stunned when the Nigerians scored the first goal through a penalty and held their breaths, but this was followed with a loud orgasmic sigh when Michael Essien equalized in the 47th minutes.

The goal was greeted with wild jubilation across the capital Accra as cars tooted their horns loud speakers in drinking bars took over with uncontrolled cacophony. Before the "do-or-die" match kicked off, Ghana's national colours were flying high all over the country with various predictions from even religious leaders.

Ghana went dead for a moment after the inspiring skipper John Mensah was sent off for a controversial tackle. However, the excitement of the game was restored after the coach repositioned the players and this saw Ghana dictating the game again.

But as determined as they were, not to disappoint the nation and the packed to capacity stadium full of Ghanaian fans and under the watchful eyes of sporty President Kufuor, it was not surprising when a cross orchestrated by Haminu Dramani favoured Junior Agogo as he slotted an easy ball into the Nigerian's net.

By this feat, the Black Stars have may yet make the axiom "Host and Win" a reality. It is now a real reality beckoning! The Black Stars have therefore advanced to the semi-finals of the 26th Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana 2008.

Algerian referee Benouza Mohammed was probably the most hated man yesterday because the generality of Ghanaian fans believed that he was more or less wearing a Nigerian jersey in his officiating. When he blew his whistle to end the game many fns shouted "Shame on You! The national capital was greeted his whistle with frenzied celebration.