Two teams that had been written off at the start of the African Cup of Nations in Angola are just two matches away from lifting the trophy. But one must eliminate the other before the cup gets within reach.
At the start of the tournament a lot of Ghanaians, probably led by me, had very little faith in the Black Stars, a team plagued by injury and filled with inexperience. The Nigerians, on the other hand, wrote off their team – the Super Eagles – because of its recent poor form. The fact that the team had to struggle with minnows like Kenya to qualify for the World Cup didn’t inspire much confidence.
To reach the semi-finals of the tournament is in itself a major triumph for both the Stars and the Eagles. But today, one must get rid of the other to bring the trophy within reach. It’s going to be a grudge encounter and what is at stake is more than a place in the finals of AFCON 2010.
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The team that loses will feel a serious dent in national pride.
And so even though I have not been known to be a keen supporter of the Black Stars and I still have doubts about their ability to lift the trophy, I am hoping that they soar above the Eagles today. If the stars lose it won’t hurt me as much as my Nigerian friends calling me to gloat. That will make me miserable.
It’s true, I have not shown much faith in this squad but today, I am going all out to root for Milovan Rajevac’s squad in the hope that Andre Ayew will play like his dad did against Nigeria in Senegal in 1992 and Asamoah Gyan gets inspired to play like Tony Yeboah. Surely, they won’t let me down, will they?