Black StarsTeam B’s heroics at the just ended West African Football Union (WAFU) tournament has been extolled by head coach, Maxwell Konadu in a post-match press conference.
Four goals from Stephen Sarfo, Vincent Atinga and Winful Cobbina struck the Super Eagles to the ground in a revenge encounter after the Black Stars had lost 2-0 in their final group match..
It was a cagey start to the game from both teams with neither venturing too far forward but the first real effort on goal came in the 15th minute, courtesy a 25-yard long-range strike from Ghana’s Emmanuel Lomotey.
Emmanuel Lomotey was caught in the thick of the affairs again ten minutes later when he pounced on a loose ball inside the box but he was brilliantly denied by the acrobatics of the Nigerian goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa from 14-yards out.
The Super Eagles shot-stopper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, was definitely at his best in the 35th minute with another superb save, diving low to his left to turn a low 18-yard shot from Black Stars captain, Isaac Twum around the post.
Ghana made their continued pressure,a minute before the break when Stephen Sarfo fired the Black Stars into the lead with a thunderous strike from the edge of the box to be at Nigerian goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
The start of the second half failed to produce any fireworks till Patrick Razak announced his presence by winning two penalties when he came on in the 57th minute. Vincent Atingah stepped up for the Ghanaians and doubled their lead with a well-placed spot-kick.
Stephen Sarfo stepped-up for Ghana to score his second goal through the second penalty of the game in the 77th minute, after a reckless tackle by Stephen Eze on the Hearts of Oak marksman.
The icing on the cake, though, for the Black Stars was their fourth goal which was scored by Winnful Cobbinah in the 93rd minute following a goalmouth scramble inside the box. Nigeria did find some consolation goal from a 22-yard free-kick from by Rabiu Ali which found the top corner of the net.
“We believed in ourselves. I knew what the boys could . The last time we lost to them we promised our fans of great football festival and I’m thankful the boys played with instructions.We came into this competition under pressure because we lost to Burkina Faso at home and failed to qualify for the CHAN tournament,” said Konadu in a post-match presser.
“That brought a bit of pressure onto the team but when we re-grouped, we made sure that we spoke among ourselves and made it a point that we are coming to this tournament to at least appease for the loss.
“We lost painfully to Burkina and everybody was down, but when this tournament started we came here with the aim that the only thing that can bring the joy back on the face of Ghanaians is to win the tournament.We started slowly but we gathered momentum and everything went well for us. We are delighted to lift the title”, he added.
Meanwhile the Black Stars Team B will receive $200,000 for winning the tournament. The prize money for winning the competition is $100,000 but the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Isaac Asiamah has also announced an additional $100,000 package from the government of Ghana for the team to make it a total of $200,000.