There was absolute joy and jollity at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium when the Black Stars locked horns with the Walia Antelopes of Ethiopia. The intimidating crowd rooted unflinchingly for the Stars from the start to the end of the game. Men were seen with their cherubic wives and girlfriends gracefully clad in the Ghanaian colours merrying away after the game. Players were seen comfortably exchanging niceties with the fans. This was always the case anytime the Black Stars play in Kumasi making the venue a fortress to their visiting opponents until they lost the love of the denizens of the second largest city in Ghana until that love was lost after the unpopular 2014 World Cup experience.
Kumasi fans as said early on are the undoubtedly the most loyal and vociferous in the country. In cagey situations, they all muck in to ensure their adored team, the Black Stars get the needed victory thus making the venue the favourite for the players in lieu of Accra, the capital but the Black Stars lost this love when the betrayed the love and trust of the good people of the Motherland.
In Brazil, the players revolted against the nation as a result of a delay in their appearance fee- a situation that could have been resolved amicably. The disrespect shown by players towards management members, an attempt to boycott training, physical assault and verbal vituperative among others made it very difficult for Ghanaians to forgive the once adored Stars. The players pleaded for forgiveness from the nation but that didn’t work for them. The hostilities that met the Stars when they played against the Cranes of Uganda was one they will forever live to remember- the aura of rejection from the fans took a toll on players who were drenched in sorrow and pathos.
Fast forward to today, the Stars are enjoying a renewed love from their first love. The stadium was almost full to capacity- fans defying the heavy downpour to cheer their heroes to victory corroborates this claim. There was an air of gaiety surrounding the Stars since their arrival in the city. The reception was effusive thus making their stay comfortable and enjoyable.
On the field of play, the Stars didn’t disappoint their loyal fans. The Stars outplayed, outrun and outscored their Ethiopian opponents to appease their Kumasi faithfuls. New faces like Rapheal Dwamena who got a brace on his debut, Lumor,Thomas Agyapong all had fantastic displays,one that could solidify their chances of sustaining their presence in the team. The Stars really entertained the nation with their performance but it was Ebenezer Ofori’s goal that kept people talking. He received a pass from a colleague, cut inside leaving his markers kicking the air, took a step forward then boom! From 30 yards, Ofori released a screamer! Which zoomed straight into the top corner leaving the Ethiopian keeper helpless like an headless chicken stranded in the Arabian desert. Everybody stood to catch their breath. There were chuntering among the fans who were looking around in satisfying stupefaction, as if in doubt, to make sure, what they saw had actually happened.
It was a good day for the Stars and fans alike but worrying at the time the fans renewed their love for the especially when the country’s qualification to her fourth consecutive World Cup hangs in a balance but as the old adage says, better late than never.
Ghana vs Ethiopia 5-0 all goals Full highlights 11/06/2017