Players of the Black Stars have apologised to the nation for their failure to go past the opening round of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament in Qatar.
The Stars were beaten 2-0 by old foes Uruguay in the final game of Group H at the Al Janoub Sports Stadium in Al Wakra on Friday.
According to a GFA source, the players felt hugely let-down and distraught by their inability to progress to the next stage, to the extent that most of them skipped their supper.
Communications Director of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Henry Asante Tsum, who confirmed this to the Times Sports yesterday said the loss to Uruguay was not only shocking but heart-rending, in view of the preparations that went into the nervy encounter.
“The boys were fully loaded for bear, wanting to put up a compelling performance to progress and pay the Uruguayans back in their own coin; but things did not go as envisaged. It is one of those things in football.
“Aside from Skipper Andre Ayew and his brother Jordan, all of the players are having their first World Cup experience and I guess it told on them.”
However, the FA Communication Director was optimistic the team would come good in future tournaments.
“I believe all-too strongly that they’re a team for the future. We have a rich reservoir of talent in the squad and given the requisite guidance and support, they would be a force to reckon with,” he asserted.
Ghana rolled off their account in Qatar losing 2-3 to Portugal, but recovered formidably to beat South Korea 3-2 in the second game of the group – setting up a heart-thumping date with a Luis Suarez-led Uruguay side.
The Uruguay match was the talk of Doha, in view of the scorching rivalry between the two teams – occasioned by Suarez’s handball incident at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa – where he punched out a last-gasp goal-bound ball from the net.
Suarez’s ‘callous’ act denied Ghana, Africa’s first semi-final berth in the history of the Mundial.
Sadly, the ensuing penalty awarded against the Uruguayan striker, was blown away by top goal-poacher Asamoah Gyan.
In what can be described as a near replica of South Africa 2010, Skipper Andre Ayew also squandered a 21st minute penalty against Uruguay on Friday, after Mohammed Kudus had been felled in the area.
That stunningly uncharacteristic miss clearly took a heavy toll on a Stars’ team that demonstrably lacked character and the mental fortitude to bounce back.
Portugal topped the group on six points after losing 2-1 to South Korea – whose surprise victory catapulted them to second spot – edging out Uruguay on superior goal difference.
Ghana finished bottom on three points, after two defeats and a win.
It is the nation’s successive first round exit at the World Cup after Brazil 2014.
FROM JOHN VIGAH, DOHA-QATAR