CAN 2012 Files EP12: Mission Accomplished, That 100th Goal And A Question For Goran Stevanovic

A very special 94M/s goal by Agyeman-Badu marked Ghana 100th African Nations Cup goals on a night when the Stars simply failed to glitter. Congratulations to the young man who has made Michael Essien’s loss less painful.

Guinea needed a win to survive the tournament and hence came in to play a physical game while attacking down the flank. Obviously, Goran Stevanovic and his players had no clue to the Guinea tactic and his team was in sixes and sevens.

In the end however, the objective for the first round of the tournament was accomplished. Ghana is going to the quarter finals without defeat. The Black Stars will face old foes Tunisia on Sunday February 5th 2012 in a quarter final encounter.

Many who have followed the current crop of players from Argentina 2001 World Youth Championships through Ghana 2008 AFCON, Egypt 2009 World Youth Championship, Angola 2010 AFCON and the South Africa 2010 World Cup, expected some champagne football. But the coach who promised sweet attacking football delivered some of the scariest football Ghana played since Egypt 2006 AFCON. Even with a one man advantage, Ghana was on the defensive.

After that piss-poor group opener against Botswana, the age-old excuse of Ghana starting tournaments on a slow note was thrown out there. But a rather terrible first half against Mali followed and people started asking questions. The players promised to make amends, but this very unimpressive outing against Guinea makes those questions linger.

Can Black Stars play any better football before the end of the tournament? Will such weak performances carry Ghana through to the final and then lift the cup?

One can only hope that a different strategy will be brought to the quarter final game against Tunisia.

Over the years we have seen that the Blacks Stars seem to play every game according to public perception of the potency of the opposition and the importance of the game. This means that we can expect a much more spirited performance as the tournament progresses.

The burning questions of full/wing backs, right wing, goal keeping and a playmaker to feed Gyan with those hard-to-miss balls are yet to be resolved after one year of Stevanovic’s reign.

This is why I will like to ask Stevanovic a very simple question: If you were the Serbian FA boss and your coach had a year to build the national team and they played this kind of piss poor football at the Euros, how will you react?


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