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Sports News of Wednesday, 27 May 2020


I made Muammar al-Gaddafi weep in 1982 - Michael Mensah discloses

Michael Owusu Mensah Michael Owusu Mensah

Former Ghana goalkeeper Michael Owusu Mensah has opened up on how he made erstwhile Libyan president Muammar al-Gaddafi shed tears in the wake of the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations final.

On March 19, 1892, the Black Stars defied all odds to beat Libya, the host nation 7-6 on a penalty shootout to win the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations trophy in front of their intimidating home fans.

Ghana shot into the lead in the 35th minute through George Alhassan, the oldest player of the Black Stars squad. The Libyans sensing defeat, threw everything upfront and succeeded in finding the equalizer in the 70 minutes through Beshari.

The rest of regulation time produced no more goals after 120 minutes ushering in the first-ever tie-breaking exercise in a final to be decided on penalties.

In the shootout, Sampson Lamptey, George Alhassan, Isaac Paha, Abbrey and Asase scored, in the 1st round, while in the 2nd round of the shootout goalkeeper, Owusu Mensah saw his penalty saved by the Libyan goalie, but he also saved a 6th penalty kick by the Libyans. Owusu Mensah, again saved the Libyans 7th penalty to help Ghana win its 4th AFCON.

Ironically Owusu Mensah went to the tourney as Ghana’s third goalie, but turned out the hero of the tournament.

“I saved four penalties in the 1982 Nations Cup which made Gaddafi shed tears,” Mensah revealed from his base in the United States of America.

The former custodian also expressed his disappointment over the nation’s failure to honour promises made to the team in the aftermath of their triumph at the tournament.

The West Africa giants have not tasted glory in any tournament since that famous victory 38 years ago.

The Black Stars came close to ending the drought at the 2010 and 2015 editions but fell short in the finals against Egypt and Ivory Coast respectively.