Ghana: Honor & Glory

Ghana is the the last African team in the first African World Cup!

”I am confident that you would rise to the event putting behind you the recent reverses and be inspired by our remarkable history in this competition to bring honor to all of us.” - Ghana President John Agyekum Kufuor

One of the most appealing elements of South Africa hosting World Cup 2010 was the perceived advantage it offered to African teams. Cameroon reached the World Cup quarterfinals in 1990 and Senegal the same in 2002, and there was plenty of pre-tournament optimism that one of the six African teams could take advantage of the World Cup being on African soil and go one step further in 2010: The first African team in the World Cup semi-finals. Maybe even the first World Cup winner. Things haven’t quite gone as planned.

Five of the six African teams (South Africa, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Algeria) went out in the group stage. Cameroon with three straight defeats and Algeria without scoring a goal. Only Ghana progressed, finishing second in a competitive Group D. So whatever hopes the world has of seeing an African team break the semi-final barrier now rest on the shoulders of the Black Stars.

It’s maybe a little unfair to place all that expectation on the backs of Ghana. But right now World Cup 2010 is going to be remembered as a logistics/infrastructure success for South Africa, rather than an on-field/ footballing success for African teams. Ghana are the only team in a position to change that when they face the USA in the Round of 16.

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