BURKINA Faso’s recent stranglehold on Ghana has been broken – and it was only done through the lottery of shoot-out.
After 90 minutes of scorching end-to-end football, where the two combatants battled for a nerve-jangling 1-1 result, the Black Stars Team B upstaged the Burkinabe Stallions 5-4 on penalties in their second game of the ongoing WAFU Nations Cup tournament at the Stade Lat Dior in Thies, Senegal.
The Burkinabe contingent had stolen the lead as early as the third minute through Tiendrebeogo Ilias, but Mumuni Shafiu restored parity in the 38th minute with a gorgeous header from Joseph Esso’s spectacular pass.
The second half saw Ghana continue their supremacy in midfield, but their delivery in the final third let them down badly. At the end of the day, it took the brilliance of goalkeeper Eric Antwi Ofori to pull off two brave saves to salt away his side’s blushes.
Ghana football has suffered at the shoot-out for a very long time and the Stars – who are defending champions in this tournament, cannot be begrudged as they celebrated wildly on the eventful night.
But last Friday’s gutsy win only bundles Maxwell Konadu’s charges into yet another lip-smacking semi-final clash tomorrow against the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire – one of the nation’s bogey sides.
“We wanted to win in normal time but it wasn’t possible but yet still I have to commend my players for holding on and when we went to penalties we managed to get the job done.
We know each other very well because we have played many times but we have a lot of experience in the WAFU Cup of Nations,” Konadu said in a post-match interview.
The Stars qualified to this stage after edging out the Gambia 1-0 on an exhaustive afternoon, while the Ivoirians roared off their campaign with a 4-1 pounding victory over Cape Verde before accounting for the Hawks of Togo on penalties Saturday night.
BY JOHN VIGAH