Ghana’s Black Stars

Ghana will be making their third appearance at a FIFA World Cup™.  Nicknamed the Black Stars, the West Africans first appeared at the 2006 edition in Germany.  In 2014, the Ghanaians find themselves in Group G alongside Germany, Portugal and the United States of America (USA).  Luis Suarez is one name that Ghanaian or Africans will always remember as far as the world cup is concerned.  The Liverpool and Uruguay forward denied Ghana the chance to become the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the tournament with a handball save off the line in their quarter-final meeting in 2010.

Ghana come into this year’s world cup after surviving what was tipped as the toughest CAF Qualifying Group A, as they won five out of their six matches against 2012 African champions Zambia, Lesotho and Sudan.  The biggest set back of their qualifying campaign was the 1-0 defeat they suffered at the hands of Zambia.  The Black Stars went into the into the final play-off round, and met seven-time African champions Egypt.  The West Africans were ruthless as they gave the Pharoahs a 6-1 hiding in the first leg and by that would be setting the tone for the second leg match which they lost  2-1 in Cairo.

For the second straight time, Ghana will have to come up against Germany and the USA; this time in the group stages.  The Black Stars were grouped with the Germans in 2010 as well.  If the past two FIFA World Cup™ tournaments are anything to go by, the Black Stars stand a very good chance of making this World Cup an even better one compared to the previous events.  In Germany 2006, Ghana was eliminated by the eventual semi -finalists Brazil in the Second Round after they successfully saw off the Czech Republic and the States.  Ghana came into the 2010 World Cup as real contenders to go far in the competition and they did just that as they equaled Africa’s best-ever performance in a World Cup when they defeated the Stars and Stripes to reach the quarter-finals.  This emulated Cameroon (1990) and Senegal’s (2002) achievements.

One thing is for sure,the Ghanaians will feel they have some unfinished business in the the showpiece as their 2010 journey ended in one of the most dramatic penalty shoot-outs in the history of the event.  History judges harshly that Ghana were a Asamoah Gyan penalty away from becoming the first African country to reach the semi-finals.  The Ghanaian squad that played some good football in South Africa might not look the same anymore but the whole of Africa will be hoping players such as Kwadwo Asamoah, Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andre Ayew, and veterans Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari, will come to the party as they look to go one better in Brazil.  But first they will have to negotiate what looks like a group of death against the Germans, Portuguese and Americans.