Ghana’s Black Stars failed in their bid to qualify to the finals of the 2012 African Cup of Nations as they lost by a late goal to the Zambians in the first Semi Finals match of the on-going AFCON in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.
The resilient Zambia’s inspirational goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene climbed to the occasion to save an Asamoah Gyan penalty in the early part of the first half. The Zambian goal was scored by substitute Emmanuel Mayuka with just 12 minutes remaining to end the match.
The lost means Ghana will play in the third place match against the Malians who also lost by a lone goal against the tournament favourites; Ivory Coast in the second Semi Finals. Even though the Ghanaians defeated the Malians by two goals to nil in the group stages, the Malians would be a tough nut to crack this time around as they would not allow Ghana to beat them twice in the same tournament.
Many Ghanaians as well as soccer analysts are commenting on the missed chances by the Ghanaians to qualify to the finals. Jerry Kwame Ayensu like many others believes, the Zambian game was a match that the Ghanaians played very well and yet had to lose because of the failed chances.
Even though Ghana created as many chances, the team failed to convert any including Asamoah Gyan’s missed penalty kick.
“I think this was the best game of the tournament by Ghana after creating nine clear chances and missing a penalty. We just have been riding our luck all throughout the tournament but this gives us the opportunity to scour the market very well for the very best of playing materials as we lacked the materials for this tournament at some point.”
Ghana hasn’t scored many goals especially when half fit former Sunderland striker Gyan was forced to play as a lone striker with Jordan Ayew closely behind him. Jerry advised that the team and the coach be maintained with more vigorous work done for next year’s tournament in South Africa.
“We were suspect with our laterals and strikers from game one up until today. We just must try keeping this team together with the coach even though his frailties were evidently clear and give him the opportunity to rewrite his scripts together with his staff as another nations cup beckons in 10month time in South Africa.” He told GhanaCelebrities.Com.
On Gyan’s missed penalty kick which in all indication would have changed the face of the match, Jerry Ayensu was quick to add that, “Asamoah Gyan was just in a hurry to go dance and so gave himself out for the most inspirational Kennedy Mweene [Zambia’s goalkeeper] to stop that ball.”
In a similar fashion at the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, the Al Ain striker missed the penalty against the Uruguans after Luiz Suarez had prevented the ball from entering the net with his hands. Ghana eventually was knocked out in the Quarter Finals in the penalty shoot outs.
Even though he was known to be half fit before the commencement of the tournament, the football analyst admonished him, “He must be serious with his game and grow as he is no longer a teenager, we cannot overlook his injury prior to the tournament but doing everything the basic and simple way must be a lesson for him.”
Jerry Kwame Ayensu is a freelance sports journalist in Ghana. He has worked with Radio Gold, Citi FM and also anchored Metro TV’s coverage of the CAN 2008 hosted by Ghana.
He has also provided content for SuperSport and other international organisation. He has been a sports journalist for the past decade. He is one of the sought after commentators in Ghana currently.
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