You are here: HomeSports2006 06 19Article 106042

Soccer News of Monday, 19 June 2006


Ghana-Czech: Player Quotes

Michael ESSIEN (GHA), Budweiser Man of the Match
I'm very happy that we've won our first game and that we scored twice. We felt no fear before the match. Their goalkeeper (Petr Cech) was magnificent and I told him that after the game. We'll go for a win against the United States and our chances are good, I think. The win was very important for African football.

Asamoah GYAN (GHA)
Everything was so great. I think we did very well.

Asamoah GYAN (GHA)
This is our first World Cup so it's a historic moment for Ghana. In our first game we lost a little bit of concentration but we did our homework well and I think we did very well. Everything was so great. I'm sorry to miss the next game. I'm important to the nation and to the team. I'm also disappointed I didn't score the penalty. I'm going back to train more (laughs).

Matthew AMOAH (GHA)
It was our first ever World Cup goal and I think we deserved to win. The United States play quick football but we now have four or five days to prepare. If we play like today, we will win again. This victory means so much.

I feel great. The game was important for us and for all of Africa. We have a fine team and a very good coach (Ratomir Dujkovic). We are now looking forward to being among the last 16. The German people love us: they give us strength and confidence.

It was time for a surprise. The first goal coming so early was important because we could play our own game after that. A great ball from our captain (Stephen Appiah) and a fine finish. I'm a bit disappointed because we should have scored at least one more but we didn't seem to take it too seriously after the second goal. The chemistry is right between the coach and the players and it's working out well. If we beat the USA, anything is possible.

We feel awful. The first goal came so early and after that we were chasing the lead and running after Ghana players who did well. It was hard for us without (Vladimir) Smicer and (Milan) Baros.

We worked very hard but it wasn't enough. My injury is not that bad. The muscle is not pulled but it?s up to the doctors when I?ll be able to play again. I suffered a lot on the bench.

I'm satisfied with my personal performance but I'm disappointed with my team and the result of the game. We have a chance against Italy. We've played against them a few times and we are still confident of reaching our goal. Of course our plans changed within a few seconds of the start of the match and that?s never easy. It was complicated because we lost our first two strikers and now we've lost another player (Tomas Ujfalusi) because of the red card. Of course this should not be a way to go out of the tournament. It was the worst defeat since I played in my youth team but we will keep on fighting.

We couldn?t play our game tactically because Ghana were very strong. We didn't have any clear-cut chances and we couldn?t exert enough pressure. If our disallowed goal had counted, it would have been a different game. Some of the players like me had problems with cramp. Our team is in the worst position of the group in terms of yellow cards and injuries and we don?t have enough points - that?s the reality.

It should not be an excuse that we lost because Koller and Baros weren't there. We have enough good players in the team. The fact is today all the players had a bad day.

Some days ago we were dreaming but today we are back in reality.

Send your news stories to and features to . Chat with us via WhatsApp on +233 55 2699 625.

Join our Newsletter