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Sports Features of Sunday, 18 October 2009

Source: Ghanasoccernet

Satellites prove critics- Siasia, Gleeson wrong

Ghana's U20 team has shamed Nigerian coach Samsom Siasia and journalist Mark Gleeson after the Black Satellites won the world title on Friday.

Siasia, who jumped before was pushed as Nigeria's U20 coach, sparked anger in Ghana after claiming that Brazil would beat Ghana in the U20 World Cup final.

But his distasteful comments goaded the young Ghanaians as they stopped him in his tracks by beating the South American 4-3 on penalties to hand Africa its first U20 World Cup.

Gleeson, known for his extreme detestation for Ghana football, had predicted that the South American would beat the West Africans by 2-0.

He even implied that the Satellites did not deserve a place in the final by saying: "Ghana have had some narrow escapes in their way to the final."

Yet the South African journalist was also served his portion of the large and copious amounts of humble pie as Ghana defied their numerical disadvantage to win the title.

Siasia was in charge of Nigeria's miserable U-20 team that was booted out in the second round of the tournament after unimpressive outings.

Even though he was under attack at home for the Flying Eagles' depressing display at the tournament in Egypt, he found the time to make the grubby remark about Ghana.

Ghana was the only African team that reached the last eight of the tournament and the entire continent threw its weight behind the Satellites to give Africa its first U20 World Cup trophy.

But Siasia, who received lots of backing from Ghanaian legends in his past endeavours, claimed the Brazilians are technically and tactically better.

"The match between Ghana and Brazil would be a difficult game. Personally, I will give it to Brazil to win the trophy," Siasia said.

While he spent time making those comments about the Satellites, the Nigerian authorities were also planning his dismissal as his team crashed out of the tournament in the second round.

Siasia would have been sacked next week but he jumped - he is now jobless and licking his wounds over the Ghana victory - double agony!

Gleeson, the famous South African journalist, is known to abhor Ghana football as he has consistently negatively predicted against the West Africans.

In 2005 he cast doubt over the capability of the Black Stars reaching 2006 World Cup but the Ghana forced him to eat a biggest humble pie on earth by qualifying for the competition.

Subsequently he predicted that Ghana would be annihilated at the tournament in Germany, tipping Ivory Coast as Africa's biggest hope at the World Cup.

Yet again he was disgraced by the Ghanaians. The Black Stars were the only African country to reach the second round of the tournament losing only to the tournament winners Italy and previous holders Brazil.

Not satisfied with his failed attempts to debase Ghana, he once again rushed forward, clutching his baleful forecasts, by claiming Ghana would not qualify for the 2010 World Cup in his native South Africa.

Gleeson was shamed once again as Ghana became the first African country to qualify for Africa's first World Cup. They did not even concede a goal!