On this day, 20 June 2004 (Exactly 15 years ago), Ghana skipper Stephen Appiah took advantage of a calamitous South Africa defence to score twice and steer his country to a 3-0 win in their 2006 FIFA World World Cup qualifying match played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
The then Juventus midfielder scored both goals in the second half, taking advantage of mix-ups between South African central defenders Mark Fish and Nasief Morris on a bumpy pitch.
Udinese midfielder Sulley Muntari opened the scoring for Ghana when he slammed home a thunderous volley from a Dan Quaye cross in the 14th minute to ignite the passions of the home crowd in Kumasi.
“They (Ghana) dealt with the conditions much better than we did. Football is a game of confidence and while Ghana grew in the game with confidence we died out there,’ said South African coach Stuart Baxter.
It was the first time Ghana had beaten South Africa in six meetings.
Venue : Kumasi Sports Stadium
Score: Ghana 3-0 South Africa
Goals: Sulley Muntari (14)
Stephen Appiah ( 55, 78)
Ghana Line-up : 1-Sammy Adjei; 2-Dan Quaye, 4-Samuel Osei Kuffour, 5-John Mensah, 6-Emmanuel Pappoe; 8-Michael Essien, 10-Stephen Appiah (7-Charles Taylor, 85), 11-Sulley Muntari (17-Abubakarai Yahuza, 63), 13-William Tierro; 3-Baffour Gyan, 18-Ibrahim Tanko (9-Kwadwo Poku 76)
Coach : Mariano Barreto
South Africa Line-up : 1-Moeneeb Josephs; 2-Jacob Lekgetho, 7-Nasief Morris, 4-Aaron Mokoena, 8-Mark Fish; 5-Mbulelo Mabizela, 13-Benson Mhlongo, 10-Steven Pienaar, 18-Delron Buckley (17-Elrio van Heerden, 60), 14-Siyabonga Nomvete; 9-George Koumantarakis (12-Abram Raselemane, 70)
Coach :Stuart Baxter
Referee: Badara Diatta (Senegal)
On this 20 June 2009(Exactly 10 years ago) Ghana took a giant stride towards their goal of reaching both the 2010 African Nations Cup and FIFA World Cup finals by beating Sudan 2-0 in Omdurman.
Former NAC Breda striker Matthew Amoah put the Black Stars ahead after 6 minutes and snatched a brace when he scored again with 52 minutes gone.
Amoah was denied a hat-trick when Bashir Ahmed scooped the ball off the line in the 82nd minute before he made way for Junior Agogo.
Bahsir was on hand again to clear another ball off the line this time a Michael Essien header on the stroke of full time.
Ghana Line-up: Richard Kingson, Samuel Inkoom, Harrison Afful, John Mensah, Eric Addo, Michael Essien, Anthony Annan, Opoku Agyemang/Isaac Vorsah, Mathew Amoah/Junior Agogo, Prince Tagoe/Haminu Draman, Kwadwo Asamoah.
On this day 20 June 1999 (Exactly 20 years ago) Kumasi Asante Kotoko lost 3-4 at home to Cape Coast Dwarfs in their match played at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi.
Kotoko, who took the field brimming with confidence, took a commanding 2-0 lead after eight minutes in the grudge match as Dwarfs reeled under stabbing raids.
Inspirer Adams Armando shot his side into the lead in the fifth minute when he rounded up the tight Dwarfs defence and scored with a grounder to the blind side of goalkeeper Issaka Sulemana.
Striker Nicholas Addo raised the score to 2-0 in the eighth minute, by converting a spot-kick awarded when a defender of Dwarfs handled the ball in the “18”.
Cheered on by their teeming crowd, Kotoko doubled their efforts as Dwarfs struggled to find their rhythm earning corner-kicks in the 15th and 19th but wasted both.
Dwarfs fought back and outside-left Micheal Osei pulled a goal back in the 20th minute with a powerful shot, which hit the roof of the net.
Dwarfs from the 30th minute were reduced to 10 men when FIFA referee Emmanuel Bissi of Sunyani flashed the yellow card in the face of Phillip Oguaah for foul play on Armando of Kotoko.
Moments later, the referee showed the player the red card for what appeared to have been dissent.
Kotoko’s Jonas Akorli was also shown the yellow card in the 33rd minute for a foul.
Dwarfs conceded a third goal in the 44th minute when Armando’s lob hit the cross bar but Isaac Asare lurking around, rounded the defence before putting the ball into the net.
Dwarfs resumed the second half a transformed side. Led by Stephen Owusu, they confused Kotoko with inch-perfect passes and deft touches, thus forcing Kotoko to concede three successive corners.
Stephen Owusu, who was gradually becoming a free-kick expert, reduced the score to 3-2 with a 30-metre free-kick, which rolled under goalkeeper Oscar Asamoah into the net as he dived to save the powerful shot in the 62nd minute.
Six minutes later, Dwarfs, who were on the rampage, levelled up as Michael Osei broke through the middle and chipped a low shot into the net with the Kotoko defence completely stranded.
Kotoko brought in Godwin Ablordey for George Siaw in the 72nd minute while Mohammed Polo took over from Nicholas Addo in the 76th minute but Kotoko could still not string their passes together.
Stephen Owusu, the man-of-the-match applied the “coup de grace” in the 78th minute, when his powerful free-kick sailed into the net beating goalkeeper Oscar Asamoah for the fourth goal
Four minutes of time added on could not bail out Kotoko. The players slumped onto the field after the referee whistled for the end of the match.
On this day 20 June 1976 (Exactly 43 years ago) Czechoslovakia upset West Germany, 5-3 on penalties following 2-2 draw after extra time to win the 4th edition of the UEFA European Championship at the Red Star Stadium in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
The first three matches had all gone to extra time, two of them featuring recoveries from losing positions. Impossible to believe it could happen again – so of course it did.
The champions made another bad start. Berti Vogts, of all people, gave the ball away close to his own penalty area, Koloman Gögh drew a fine save from Sepp Maier, Zdenek Nehoda crossed from the right, and Ján Svehlík came from deep to drive the ball home. Although the Germans were moving fluently through midfield, they conceded another goal when Georg Schwarzenbeck fouled Gögh, the Kaiser headed Marián Masny´s free kick out to the left, and Karol Dobias´ angled shot sneaked low past Maker.
The Germans got the quick reply they needed when Erich Beer was fouled as he sent Rainer Bonhof clear on the right, the referee let play continue, and the cross found Dieter Müller ludicrously unmarked; an acrobatic volley did the rest. With Franz Beckenbauer again making his long runs from deep, the Germans threatened to overrun their opponents, only to find Ivo Viktor in the form of his life.
Shorter than most international goalkeepers and now 34, he made save after important save, pushing away Heinz Flohe´s drive and one of Bonhof´s trademark free-kicks – enjoying a little luck when a shot bobbled off a post and back into his arms. With only seconds left, it looked as if he´d done enough. Then he made his one mistake of the night.
When Bonhof´s corner came in from the German left, Viktor hesitated, made a feeble attempt at a punch, and was beaten to the ball by Bernd Hölzenbein, who headed in at the near post as the keeper fell back on the ground in despair. Extra time, followed by the first penalty shoot-out to decide a major final between national teams.
This was as dramatic as anything that had happened all week. The first seven kicks went in (Bonhof´s off a post) before Uli Hoeness stepped up. Reluctantly, it is said.
Not usually mentioned in the same breath as Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller, Hoeness was nevertheless a major player for club (Bayern) and country, a dynamic runner from midfield who scored two scintillating goals in the 1974 European Champion Clubs´ Cup final. As a penalty taker he wasn´t always so successful, scoring one and missing one in the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
Here he elected to go for power. “I decided to give him a heavy shot, to try to put it in one corner. The ball was over the bar and I think they found it a year ago. They had a war and the stadium was destroyed and they found the ball.” Chiefly due to injury (he was still only 24), he never played for the Federal Republic of Germany again.
Antonín Panenka, taking the next kick, was either perversely cool under pressure or suffered a brainstorm, producing the weirdest little chip into the middle of the goal as Maier dived frantically to his left. The ball had barely enough puff to reach the net, but it was enough to give Czechoslovakia their first major title (they had walked off during the Olympic final 56 years earlier). Deservedly too, having overcome the four strongest teams in the competition – though it was hard not to feel for the Germans, who lost the title without losing the match, especially the magisterial Beckenbauer, who would have chosen another ending to his 100th international.
European football was beginning to come down from its greatest heights. Neither the Germans nor Dutch were the teams they had been in 1974, and Yugoslavia and the new champions weren´t quite in that class. But if this was a kind of last hurrah for a golden age, it was a glorious one, a carnival of goals and incident and remarkable comebacks, with an additional half-hour thrown in every time. There´s never been a working week like it.
Czechoslovakia: Ivo Viktor, Ján Pivarník, Jozef Capkovic, Koloman Gögh, Anton Ondrus (c), Marián Masny, Antonín Panenka, Jozef Móder, Zdenek Nehoda, Karol Dobias [Frantisek Vesely 94], Ján Svehlík [Ladislav Jurkemik 79].
Coach: Václav Jezek
W:Germany :Josef ´Sepp´ Maier, Hans-Hubert ´Berti´ Vogts, Bernard Dietz, Herbert Wimmer [Heinz Flohe 46], Georg Schwarzenbeck, Franz Beckenbauer (c), Uli Hoeness, Rainer Bonhof, Dieter Müller, Erich Beer [Hans Bongartz 79], Bernd Hölzenbein.
Coach: Helmut Schön.
Masny 1-0, Bonhof 1-1, Nehoda 2-1, Flohe 2-2, Ondrus 3-2, Bongartz 3-3, Jurkemik 4-3, Hoeness (shot over) 4-3, Panenka 5-3.
On this day 20 June 2018 (Exactly a year ago) Portugal superstar Cristiano Renaldo scored a goal against Morocco at the FIFA World Cup to become the all-time leading European goalscorer (85) in international competition.
On this day 20 June 1980 (Exactly 39 years ago)Panamanian boxer Roberto Durán won the WBC welterweight title from Sugar Ray Leonard at Olympic Stadium in Montreal by unanimous points decision.
STORY: GEORGE MAHAMAH