The entire Ghanaian nation was left in agony on Monday night as the Black Stars crashed out of the 2019 AFCON tournament after losing 5-4 on penalties to old foes Tunisia in Ismailia.
Esperance de Tunis’ Taha Yassine Khenissi stunned Ghana fans both home and at the Ismailia Stadium with a sadistic finish from inside the box on the 73rd minute mark but Ghana’s record goal scorer Asamoah Gyan climbed off the bench to pressurise substitute Rami Bedoui who scored a stoppage-time own-goal to hand Ghana a lifeline.
After either teams failed to find the back of the net within extra-time the game headed for shoot out with the Carthage Eagles converting all their kicks while Trabzonspor attacker Caleb Ansah Ekuban saw his kick saved by Farouk Ben Mustapha in between the sticks for the eventual winners on the night.
Unacquinted with history will forever remain a child. Pockets of propaganda against the GFA Normalisation Committee for failing to succeed must be interrogated and dispelled.
Ghana Sports Online chronicles Ghana’s atrocious performances from the 12 yards adrenaline test at major tournaments. The Black Stars have faced penalty shootouts 5 times out of the 21 times they have appeared at the biggest football showpiece on the African continent. Out of the 5 only 1 has resulted in a victory for the Stars.
Below is a look at those events and how Ghana fared.
The Black Stars reached the final of the tournament and lifted the trophy after beating the hosts 7-6 on penalties with Opoku Afriyie scoring the winning kick.
Still fresh in the memories of Ghanaian fans who are grateful to live across different eras. The Black Stars headed to the shootouts with the cross-border rivals following a pulsating 0-0 draw after 120 minutes of football. It was a day to forget for current CAF and FIFA Match Coordinator Anthony Baffoe who squandered his kick to see the Black Stars lose 11-10 to the Elephants of Ivory Coast.
Ghana worked themselves close to reaching a second final in three editions after Angola 2010 but bad luck from the penalty spots saw surrendered 3-2 to the Stallions of Burkina Faso. Defender Isaac Vorsah was the first to miss before Emmanuel Clottey and Emmanuel Agyeman Badu followed suit to the see the Black Stars eliminated at the semi-final stage.
A repeat of the 1992 final was witnessed 23 years later in Equatorial Guinea when the Elephants triumphed once again over the Black Stars. Again 120 minutes failed to produce a winner but the penalty shootouts did as they succumbed to the Ivory Coast 9-8. Though Afriyie Acquah and Frank Acheampong had missed their earlier kicks it was goalkeeper Razak Brimah who severed Ghana’s title hopes with a horrendous last kick.
With the format of the competition going under evolution and 24 countries participating the task was daunting for James Kwasi Appiah and his team to bring the trophy home to Ghanaian soil after 37 years. The Black Stars faced Tunisia’s Carthage Eagles in Ismailalia with both teams scoring. But, Caleb Ekuban of Trabzonspor, who was playing his first major tournament for the West Africans, saw his kick saved by Farouk Ben Mustapha as Tunisia won 5-4 on the night.
Ghana was bearing Africa’s shining light to reach the semi-finals for the first time in the competition’s history but a heartbreaking miss from Asamoah Gyan sent the game to penalties against Uruguay in a game that saw Luis Suarez being sent off for using his hands to clear a goal-bound effort from Dominic Adiyiah in the dying embers of the game. John Mensah and Dominic Adiyiah wasted their kicks as Ghana were dismissed from the tournament.
By El Akyereko
Follow the writer on Twitter: @akwasiakyereko