“We had to fight until the last second … We fought for our continent. We fought for Ghana. I hope the whole of Africa is proud and that we made Ghanians happy. Me and my colleagues were disappointed there are no other African teams left with us, so we are fighting for those teams and feel having Africa behind us will give us more energy to fight.”
— Ghana midfielder Andre Ayew after the 2-1 victory over the United States
The second match we saw live at this World Cup was Ghana’s first-round clash with Serbia.
The vibe at Loftus Versveld Stadium in Pretoria that night remains one of the best we’ve felt with the majority of the crowd backing the Black Stars. They won 1-0 on a penalty kick from striker Asamoah Gyan. It seemed like divine intervention took Ghana to the penalty spot through Zdravko Kuzmanovic’s needless handball.
Since then Ghana have become the hope of Africa and undoubtedly one of the most popular teams left in the tournament. They are happy to chat with journalists (unlike England players) and they’re staying near Sun City, South Africa’s Las Vegas-like resort town. The youngest team at the World Cup, with an average age of 24, they are enjoying every moment of this experience. They are the most spirited team in South Africa, and not just in the sense of team spirit. They are very religious with Gyan praising God in every interview for the team’s success and with the team making very visible prayers before, during and after each match.
A reporter recently found the team singing a gospel song in their hotel and the video is quite amazing.
They could probably use the help of the Big Man Upstairs tonight as they face a very good Uruguay team. Ghana are the underdogs in this match, but with all of Africa, as well as most of the neutrals around the world, behind them we might see the first African team make the semi-finals. Let’s hope so.
And while we’re on the topic, Africa Is A Country tipped us off about this great tune called “Football Jama”. You should pump it LOUD just before kick-off!
Image via Daylife