*Ghana Beat Kenya 1-0*
By Napoleon Ato Kittoe.
That the landscaping of the Africa game has levelled, is evidenced in what Kenya took Ghana through. The former which is much known for athletics and not football, was tied with the fancied Ghana on aggregate of 1-1 in the African Nations Cup qualifier. Both won their games at home.
It took an 83rd minute goal by substitute Caleb Ekuban for Ghana to blot a determined Kenya that aimed at using Ghana as test case for her ascendancy in soccer.
On the whole, the Accra match did expose dramatic changes in the power equation of Africa football, where the so called minnows have held their own and sometimes gone ahead to cause surprises.
In Ghana’s race to four African Nations Championships which stifled after 1982, the West African nation had established dominance with convincing victories. Now, even as Ghana searches for that which had proven elusive for nearly four decades, the others which were then unscripted are catching up. They might well throw spanners in the project of the bigger teams even if they themselves do not win the ultimate. Yet, increasingly it is looking like the possibility that one day soon, one of the unsung sides would turn the tables completely.
The likes of Kenya’s Harambee Stars could cause upsets in Egypt 2020, given their growing confidence on account of decent results secured in some of football’s dens such as Accra.
Ghana cannot throw hands in despair because of the stifling game against Kenya. The haunting presence of Ghana ratchets up the stakes for which opponents would do anything to re-write the script to buoy confidence. Thus, the Black Stars had been forced to one goal projects in matches and tournaments that they ordinarily could have walked over. What is important in modern football is winning.
A goal that made the difference from the boots of a newest arrival in the team, shows a difficult game it was. Ekuban rehashes some of the deciders of big games, where the masterstroke had oozed out of the least expected sources.
A call that there is need to variegate the game’s strategies. This to the coaches.