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Soccer News of Thursday, 31 January 2002

Source: GNA

Ghanaians express shock at Stars' victory

Many football fans in Ghana on Wednesday said they were shocked at the Black Stars 2-1 victory over neighbours, Burkina Faso in their last group B match at the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations played at Mopti in Mali.

The Stars' substitute Isaac Boakye scored two dramatic goals in the last eight minutes after trailing one -nil to the later stages of the game. The capital was surprisingly quiet as people were rather struggling for transport back home while a few others were seen in groups discussing the outcome of the match.

The victory was without the usual wild jubilations which includes reckless driving by commercial drivers and continuous honking of horns. When the GNA Sports team got to some densely populated suburbs in Accra, a group of bare chested young men could still not believe the victory while a few others attributed it to God.

Nii Okine, one of the men the GNA Sports interviewed said Coach Osam Duodu was lucky, because if the team had lost, he would have signed his own death warrant. He said even though Ghana won, they were unimpressive and wondered why the coach failed to substitute Rasta haired Ibrahim Razak for his retrogressive style of play.

Most of the men who spoke in the Ga language said although the team was not in great shape, they could stand the might of Nigeria, who are billed to meet the Stars on Sunday, February three, in a quarterfinal clash. Nii Okine said the Nigerians themselves have not been too impressive but added that they stand a better chance than Ghana of moving to the next stage of the competition.

Contrary to what happened in Accra, Sunyani, which had virtually been a ghost town, erupted into joyous jubilation when Ghana emerged 2-1 winners. Most soccer fans were glued to their television sets but said they were not satisfied with the performance of the Stars especially in the second half.

Both commercial and private drivers tooted their horns as they happily screeched through the main street of Sunyani in appreciation of the "miraculous" equaliser by the Stars. The deafening cheers on the streets reached its climax when just as

everything was heading to drawn game, Boakye again scored the second goal to seal the doom of the Burkinabe boys.

"The victory over Burkina Faso is an indication that our boys are now set to come home with the cup" a jubilant fan told the Ghana News Agency. South Africa who thrashed Morocco 3-1, top the group with superior goals but share the same five points with Ghana. They clash with Mali on Monday in yet another quarterfinal match.