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Sports News of Wednesday, 23 June 2021


I lost about 5 kilos when I took Ghana’s first penalty at the World Cup – Stephen Appiah

Stephen Appiah in an iconic celebration mood after scoring the penalty against USA Stephen Appiah in an iconic celebration mood after scoring the penalty against USA

Former Black Stars captain, Stephen Appiah has disclosed that he lost about 5 kilos when he stood behind the ball to take Ghana’s first penalty kick at the World Cup in Germany 2006.

As Ghana’s first captain at the World Cup, Stephen ‘Tonardo’ Appiah took one of the most decisive penalty kicks for Ghana at the World Cup that shot him to fame to celebrate in an iconic fashion.

The Black Stars faced the United States in the final game in Group E when Haminu Dramani scored Ghana’s opener but Clint Dempsey equalized in the 43rd minute before Ghana was awarded a penalty after Razak Pimpong was brought down in the box.

Captain Stephen Appiah assumed his leadership and made no mistake scoring the penalty which secured Ghana’s place in the knockout phase.

But as Tuesday, June 22 marked 15 years since Ghana took on the United States of America, Stephen Appiah who is now retired recalled at the Max-Morlock stadium in Germany.

Appiah said, “It’s always difficult to take penalty shots. Against USA… and a minute to half-time, we got a penalty and I had to take that penalty.”

“This was a situation that everybody was looking at you and when you think back home. The streets, family, Ghanaians,” Appiah stated on JoySports as monitored GhanaWeb.

“I lost like 5 kilos at that spot,” Appiah said in laughter with Laryea Kingston on other guest on the show.

He noted that "for some of us who worked under coaches like Arrigo Sacchi, Capello, Coach Marcello Lippi and the rest, when you are taking a penalty shot, just target one place and just hit the ball there, that is what I did and I buried it that day”.

Appiah is famous for taking that penalty kick to date.