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Posted by Gary Al-Smith on 07/03/2010

I have been sitting by my laptop for four hours, doing next to nothing and thinking about how to start this. First, I have never, in all the years of living in this country seen a Saturday when the nation has been so... QUIET. That silence, I believe, is deafening. But I will try...

The name Ghana means Warrior King and I am sure yesterday, our boys were exactly that: Warrior Kings.

Yes, we had the chance to make heady history and fluffed it. But when people let out all the anger, all the hurt and all the emotion, they would realise one thing:

Ghana has regained its place as the absolute master of African football.

Forget that Egypt have won six African Nations Cup titles. After all we have won four. (update: it's seven titles)

Nigeria? Senegal? Cameroon? Ivory Coast?

They are big, but Ghana has done something it is noted for doing in other spheres of life: we have united the continent in ways that you cannot imagine.

The boys
Where do I begin?

They started South Africa 2010 on the back of two weak showings in friendlies against Holland (lost 4-1) and Latvia (won unconvincingly).

Weeks down the line, they were on the verge of the semi-finals and narrowly lost out. What that makes them?

Heroes.

I refuse to hear the condemnations against the penalty-takers, they fought so hard and breathed their last at the death.

They deserve every credit, for a team whose second time it is in the World Cup. We have been very young, ambitious and willing.

That combination has been rare in this World Cup, especially among the so-called favorites who have been nothing but s#*t...

Luis Suarez
Even in all my anger at what he did in the final moments of extra-time, my journalism training forces me to put myself in his shoes and look at things from a Uruguayan perspective.

He did what he ahd to do and as his coach Oscar Tabarez said:

“I think it was instinctive, he instinctively put his hand out and he was sent off. What else do you want us to do with him? This is football. There were consequences to that handball, and when Suárez did it he did not know that Gyan would miss.”

True. Gyan was given a chance. And missed. Simple.

The hope
There is strong anti-Black Stars sentiments in certain quarters because of the loss. But after all is said and done, I know people are, deep down, proud of the guys.

And rightly so.

When they get to the Kotoka International Airport, this is what we MUST do:

1) Get there in choking numbers in the red, gold, black and green.
2) Scream till your brains go for lunch
3) Make them feel that they have given their all.
4) Give them a reason to do it again in the soon-to-come qualifiers, the CHAN, the AFCON 2012, the London Olympics and 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

After they return and we have accepted our fate, then we will look at the immediate and long-term future.

Thank you
Till then, how can we express our gratitude for the overwhelming support that most of you have given us?

These past few weeks, Ghana has felt like the most beautiful girl in the village: pampered, wanted and coveted.

Wasting words is useless, but believe us when we say: thank you!

We'll be back
Just like we built this team brick by brick, player by player to what it is, so would we continue.

The best of Ghana is yet to come.

Till then,

B E L I E V E.



Or follow me personally on twitter @garyalsmith

Comments

Posted by Hassan on 07/03/2010

BELIEVE shall we. What a fantastic 3 weeks it has been though it ended in anguish. I'm proud of them any day and can't wait to meet them at the KIA. the exposure they have given to the name GHANA cannot be measured in monetary terms. Ayekoo Gallant warriors of Africa. Y3 ma mo Amo.

Posted by kekeli on 07/03/2010

we will continue to believe in the black stars and the african dream!

Posted by rich on 07/03/2010

i am hurting deep down...i think i wull continue to remember Asamoah Gyan as a phwnomewnal failure for as long as i live

Posted by Mike on 07/03/2010

Gary-

As a fan with no rooting interest yesterday, I was amazed by the efforts that both teams but in yesterday. Two great goals. In a game like that, there is no loser. Just a surviver. Unfortunately for Ghana, that survivor was Uruguay. Just imagine if Ghana had Michael Essien... The future is bright for Ghanaian football.

Posted by kwasiboye on 07/03/2010

hmmmm,gary thanks for a sweet story.but ever since i was a kid ghana have always come close and in the end call ourselves gallant loosers.when at all will we get the job done?this quater final we got to is huffin cos in da end others did it and in style.cameroon did it then by beating argentina,senegal did it by beating france.when has ghana beaten any of the world super powers in football before?we always beat the unfancied nations and when it gets to the super powers we crack up.am so sorry for us cos we had this whole thing in our palm.self glory and over confidence caused us.i know people may not agree but we must say it as it is.through out the 120 minutes,gyan had being selfish,wanting to equal roger milla's record plus gunning for the golden boot so he refused to pass the ball to certain people in a better position to score.and instead of taking his time to keep his composure and go for a better placement wen da penalty came,he was in a rush to score nd equal milla's record.

Posted by DQ on 07/04/2010

Well said, he who is without sin shd cast the first stone. its painful though but we got to let go.

Posted by dani on 07/04/2010

Kind of an intresting piece but i hope am not wrong when i join Mr Painstil to say that we have really missed a great oppourtunity to break this quarter final jinx.

Posted by Eric Peterson on 07/04/2010

I think the FIFA needs to consider the NBA's goal tending rule, it just seems awfully wrong for the team that obviously scored, to have to score again! Also, I don't know football well but what if the ball would have still gone in, would it have been a goal and a penalty? It even appears that Suarez was inside the line of the goal when he touch the ball, should that qualify as a goal? Didn't the ball break the plane of the goal?

Posted by BANIAN MASIBODA on 07/05/2010

At any instance where a player intercepts/diverts a sure goal-bound-ball with his/her hand/s in the absence of a goalie, a goal should be awarded, while the offender sent packing.
Penalties should only be awarded for other infringements caused in the box area.

Banian Masiboda
Soccer fan – Papua New Guinea

Posted by tanko yakubu on 07/05/2010

when the match ended on that faithful day to me that was the end of the world cup i have no taste for anything in life but still am praud to a Ghanaian

Posted by Mark Onyango Ojuok on 07/06/2010

Africa is proud of Ghana's achievements, well done boys!Kenyans love you

Posted by robert on 07/07/2010

I disagree with 2/3 of your blog title.

The people of Ghana should be proud of their team performance and the team deserves a warm “THANK YOU”.

However, a similar feeling (satisfaction with a partial success) from a players shows a loser mentality. In my view, the only reason Ghana didn’t advance to quarterfinal stage was that the players just couldn’t see themselves as winners. Ghana’s captain himself shows (with a lot of arrogance) how pleased he was with the result: "I'm not a prophet, but definitely we're going to qualify for 2014. We did our best but luck was not on our side but we'll go to Brazil in 2014 to be major contenders”. So, “GUTSY GHANA” was not so gutsy since even its players didn’t believe they could win.

Finally, Ghana didn’t “GONE GRACIOUSLY” – they just gone. When you fall down doesn't matter that the horse was beautiful.

Posted by peter xavier on 07/07/2010

Completely agree with Banian Mashiboda

As for the comment by the Uruguayan coach "what do you wnat us to do with him"? - to this I say, the Uruguayan players should have been more dignified and cleeberate wildly as Suarez did and not also parade Suaraez on their shoulders; its akin to putting salt to an opne would. Go celebrate in your dressing room and they should have kept Suarez permanently in the dressing room after he was sent off. That's dignity and humulity. ONE SHOULD SCORN ON THE VANQUISHED. Additioanlly the Uruguayan players could have also consoled the Ghana team.

But I say this - the REAL CULPRIT is no one but FIFA !

Posted by Maran on 07/07/2010

WELL DONE AFRICAN ..
FULL CREDIT TO GHANA FA ..
LUCK PLAYS A PART ON YR EXIT OTHERWISE U WERE THE BETTER TEAM ..

REGARDS
SOCCER FAN - MALAYSIA

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