On this day, 26 September 2012 (Exactly 7 years ago today), Ghana’s dream of reaching the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup for the first time were kept alive as they cruised to a 5-0 win over Uruguay at Baku’s Bavil Stadium.
Having never made it past the group stage in two attempts, the Africans were eager to assert their dominance over Uruguay, which they did from the very first minute. After a succession of chances in the opening stages, they broke the deadlock as early as the eight minute when Jane Ayieyam headed home Sherifatu Sumaila’s corner.
Although the pace slackened after the deadlock was broken, Ghana never lost control and doubled their advantage in the 24th minute when Priscilla Okyere headed home from the edge of the box.
Ghana made it three on the stroke of half-time when Regina Antwi’s ball found Alberta Aialey on the edge of the box. Anabel Ubal rushed off her line to claim the ball from Aialey’s feet, but the ball slipped from her grasp and the forward was handed a simple opportunity to score.
Two goals in as many minutes completed the rout in the second half against a tiring Uruguay. Fatima AlHassan made it four in the 78th minute and 60 seconds later Okyere scored her second of the game.
“This match was very important for us. The win has put us in a good position to qualify for the next round – we needed to win at all costs. I am happy that my girls won, but I think there are still some things that need to be done.” Ma-Ud Dramani, Ghana coach
Ghana beat China 2-0 in their last group match to recover from an opening game defeat and reach the Azerbaijan 2012 quarter-finals after a Jane Ayieyam double.
In the quarter- final stage, Ghana stunned tournament favourites Japan with a 1-0 win in Baku as Sherifatu Sumaila’s goal following a huge goalkeeping mistake saw the African side upset the odds, before losing to France at the semi-finals stage(0-2).
The Maidens recovered from the semi-finals defeat to beat Germany 1-0 in the match for the third place.
On this day 26 September 2009 (Exactly 10 years ago) Ghana came from behind to defeat Uzbekistan 2-1 in Ismailia in their first Group D match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, with Ransford Osei and Dominic Adiyiah scoring the goals for the African champions.
Although the Uzbeks took the lead shortly after the break, it was Ghana who caught the eye with some enterprising and attacking play.
With Akhmad Ubaydullaev opting to play a lone striker up front, Uzbekistan limited themselves in the number of chances they created during the first half, but also did a fine job in nullifying Ghana’s attacking threat. On the rare occasions that the Black Satelites did manage to create chances, their finishes in the opening 45 minutes tended to end up high and wide of the target.
A few efforts did go close though. Shortly after the half hour mark, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu’s long-range free-kick was deflected just past the post for a corner, while Opoku Agyemang fired into the side netting from an acute angle and David Addy also saw a low shot fly wide via a ricochet.
Yet, towards the end of the first half, the Asians showed their attacking capabilities with a quick counter-attack that almost caught Ghana unaware. Sellas Tetteh’s side were let off the hook when a shot flashed across the face of goal, but they weren’t so fortunate two minutes into the second half when Sherzodbek Karimov got on the end of Jasur Khasanov’s cross to put the Uzbeks ahead.
However, the goal served only to re-energise the Africans, who poured forward in search of the equaliser. It came on the hour, when Addy put in a superb left-footed cross into the danger zone to find Osei. The star of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007 took one touch, which threatened to run away from him, but he caught up with the ball, producing a typical poacher’s finish.
Fifteen minutes later, Ghana scored the winner. A cross from the right from substitute Abeiku Quansah was flicked on into the path of Adiyiah, who fired the ball past Sanjar Kuvvatov to wrap up the three points for the Satellites.
On this day 26 September 1984(Exactly 35 years ago today) The Ghanaian football league took a dramatic turn in match day 18 with two suspicious results in Kumasi and Accra. Asante Kotoko beat Olympics 7-5 in Kumasi while Hearts beat Coners 3-0 in Accra.
Ben Kayede who was in the race for the top scorer award scored all the five goals for Olympics.
Ebo Mends(brace) and Kwame Sampson, Isaac Afranie and Kwabena Mensah scored for Kotoko.
Scorers for Hearts against Corners were Opoku Afriyie (brace) andJoe Amoateng.
Hearts were at this stage fighting a close race with RTU and the suspicion was that Corners might have played it soft because of the perception the two clubs are traditional allies.
The GFA reacted by freezing the gate proceeds of the matches, they suspended the final two (2) fixtures and set a probe into the whole affair. The probe headed by Mr Kwaku Ganu, a lawyer, concluded after their first meeting that it would be almost impossible to prove fixed matches.
The GFA ruled that the clubs forfeit the gate proceeds plus a fine of 100,000 cedis each or a fine of 300,000 cedis whichever is higher and warned that “in future more punitive measures would be taken against offending clubs including forfeiture of points”
Meanwhile, RTU, third on the table, called on the GFA to declare them champions following the allegations of match fixing. A statement by spokesman Alhaji MND Jawula accused Kotoo and Hearts of “going into an unholy alliances and worthless conspiracies to halt the championship aspirations of RTU”
Sekondi Eleven Wise, also in the title race suggested in a statement that the league be scrapped and instead a six (6) club competition involving the top six(6) clubs, Hearts, RTU, Kotoko, Eleven Wise, Olympics and Hasaacas organized “to select a worthy champion to represent Ghana in the Africa Cup”
Alternately, Eleven Wise wanted both Hearts and Kotoko to forfeit the points for the league to go ahead
All the suggestions by RTU and Wise were ignored by the GFA.
On this day 26 September 1998(Exactly 21 years ago today) Sheffield Wednesday striker Paulo di Canio reacted very badly to being shown a red card in a home fixture with Arsenal by pushing referee Paul Alcock.
The official made the moment even more memorable by tumbling comically to the turf. Italian Di Canio was fined ten thousand pounds and banned for eleven games.
STORIES: GEORGE MAHAMAH