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Soccer News of Sunday, 31 May 2009

Source: Ghana Celebrities

Friendly International: Ghana 2:1 Uganda

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...Black Stars gave Tamale fans quality soccer
Tamale, May 31, GNA - The Black Stars on Sunday exhibited quality football at the Tamale Sports Stadium and entertained the teeming supporters that thronged the stadium and cheered them to a 2-1 victory over the Ugandan national team.

Scoring two goals, one in each half, was enough for the Stars to crash the Cranes of Uganda, to win their crucial international friendly, which would obviously propel them to prepare well and win their crucial encounter with Mali some few days to come.

This is the first time since independence that the people of the north had the opportunity to watch the Black Stars play on a northern soil instead of having the pain to travel to Accra or Kumasi to watch international matches involving the Stars.

It was, therefore, not a surprise that the newly built Tamale Sports Stadium was filled to capacity with the fans cheering the home team to victory.

Ghana started the match with much determination and on a good footing, which nearly gave them a goal in the eighth minute from a corner-kick but Jonathan Quartey who came from defence headed the ball over the bar for a goal kick for Uganda.

On the 9th minute, Blacks Star nearly paid a price when the defenders failed to clear the ball from danger when the opponents ballooned the ball from a corner-kick, which Uganda took the clearance but feebly kicked the ball into the waiting hands of goalkeeper George Owo.

Ghana was again on the offensive in the 10th minute and had the glorious opportunity to open scoring but Papa Ako, who was a thorn in the flash of Uganda meandered through the defence but the final connection eluded the players.

Joe Tex Frimpong had net pass from Papa Ako in the 21st minute and what was left for him to do was to slot the ball into the net to set the stadium ablaze but goalkeeper Mossa Simon was "just a cat" and did not allow the ball to cross the line.

The Black Stars scored the long awaited goal in the 35th minute when play-maker Papa Ako's cross from the right flank confused goalkeeper Simon whose attempt to grab the ball parried it into the net, which ignited the stadium.

Chances upon chances came the Stars' way but goalkeeper Simon stood between Ghana and Uganda and did not allow any ball to pass him into the net.

All attempts by the Stars to score more goals proved futile and the referee brought the first half to an end.

As if designed by fate, as soon as the half time whistle was blown, all the lights in the stadium went off, a reminiscent of what happened in Essipon Stadium in Sekondi some time ago but power was restored about ten minutes later.

The second half commenced with the introduction of Haminu Dramani, Prnce Tagoe and Samual Inkoom by the Stars and they brought in more energy, playing antics and speed to further entertain fans who for many years to come would never forget the quality soccer they witnessed. Harrison Afful was just too good in the second half and it was practicably impossible for the ball to be taken away from him. An Inkoom-Dramani combination resulted in the second goal for Ghana in the 75th minute when Yussif Chibsa made use of the blend and netted the ball.

Fans shouted for more goals but at the same time enjoyed the playing antics, which would have given Ghana more goals while the Ugandans were virtually frustrated and could not translate obvious chances into goals.

Coach Bobby Williamson of Uganda, who was frustrated by his players' inability to score and infuriated by almost every decision taken by the referee, was shown the red card to exit the field. The Ugandans got the consolation goal in the 88th minute through a header from Sunkuma Geoffery to pull one back and all attempts by both teams to add more goals could not yield any positive results and after three minutes of time added on, the referee brought the proceedings to an end.

Ghana's Line Up: Owu; John Painstil, Harisson Afful, John Mensah, John Quartey, Kumordzi, Chibsah; Ernest Papa Arko, Opoku Agyemang; Joe Tex Frimpong, Sam Kyere

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