The Day New York Stood Still
Major cities across North America, have exploded into an emotional out pour of excitement from immigrant communities, to celebrating Ghana's 2:1 victory over the US, in a World Cup quarter final clash in South Africa over the weekend. Indeed, Ghana has won so many soccer converts that one can call the gripping feeling "Ghanamania'.
This has become so infectious that, 48 hours after Africa's sole survivor secured that historic victory to book a quarter final place, the celebrations continue. Portions of the cities are still awash in the red, gold, green colors of Ghana. Apartment buildings, offices, cars, shops, restaurants and churches and social centers are draped in the national colors. Business has been brisk for everything Ghana and owners of African shops are cashing in to do good business.
It is as if Ghana has taken center stage and all else has stopped for the Black Stars' exploits at the ongoing soccer fiesta being held on Africa's soil for the first time.
Nowhere is the "Ghanamania" so visible as it is in New York. The city has a large immigrant Ghanaian, African and Caribbean populations. There is still celebration with drumming, dancing, singing and drinking amid touting of car horns to celebrate "this great victory for the black race" as Jean Louis, a Haitian cab driver in the Bronx stated. Call it the day New York stood still and you would be right on. For the World's most vibrant city has experienced such contrast of emotions brought on by the game of soccer. While the Ghanaians and people from the African diaspora are celebrating, many Americans are quiet and disappointed over the inability of their team to write another comeback story and book a quarter final place. The American team had raised expectations to dizzying heights and acquired the status of "comeback kids" given the manner they came from behind to level up in group matches against England and Slovenia and secured a dramatic victory over Algeria.
The city virtually came to a halt on Saturday. Millions, both abreast and ignorant of the game, were glued to their TV sets buoyed by the feeling that their team was a soccer super power ready for a monumental conquest to enable the country savor another victory and avenge the 2006 1:2 loss to Ghana in a group match. Indeed, the TV ratings for the match are said to be the biggest audience for a soccer match in the US. How wrong they were to equate global supremacy with soccer might. They failed to realize that they were a mere "third world" soccer country. But all the high expectations were unfulfilled as Ghana, a third world country, but a global giant in soccer, proved tough customers.
The beer taverns, pizza parlors, fast food joints and restaurants jam packed for celebrations, witnessed a mass of disappointed Americans who trouped home to lick their wounds. All that one could hear and see in Bronx was the singing of Ghanaian songs, the colors of Ghana raised very high and all the African markets were filled to capacity with merry makers, after the referee blew his final whistle to bring an end of the 120 -minute epic match. In an interview with sport journalist Samuel Kissiedu, formerly of the Graphic Sports, he said Ghana served notice to the world of what was in store in South Africa when the national Under 20 side Black Satellites won the FIFA U20 World Cup and the Black Stars took silver at the Africa Cup of Nations held in Angola. "I am more than convinced that Ghana will qualify for the grand finale."
I have followed the Black Stars through the years and when they are hungry for honors, nothing can stop them. With the right mental conditioning, the boys will make history. The depth of skills, speed, stamina and total support from the black race, gives them the upperhand to dismiss every opposition that comes their way and win this for Africa. "A new world soccer order is about to emerge", he stated. Ms. Dora Bonsu aka "Akua Mother Special" of Lafayette and White Plains Road of Bronx noted that "indeed, the players of the Black Stars have done a marvelous work by holding their spirit high to this level of the competition, especially after all other African teams have been knocked out.
Mr. Kwaku Kyei of Mosholu Park Way in Bronx, was full of joy for the Black Stars. He stated "We have proved to the world that, soccer has move to another level where Ghana is now the gateway of African soccer and I want shout a big kudos to the technical team, the management, the players of the Black Stars for doing what even Napoleon could not do by beating the US for the second time, truly history repeats it self."
Nana Adu Frimpong of Denver, Colorado said that, at times watching the soccer of the Black Stars gives one a near heart attack, because the forward line keeps wasting a begging chances but the match against USA was 120% performance. "I will not single out any one from the Black Stars team but I doff my heart for Andrew Ayew as this boy have proved that, with time he will lead the team to highest level of soccer." He runs fast, tackles,has good passes and fighting spirit. I say good job boys, "It's not over until it's over" take the ultimate Golden Trophy to Ghana is what Nii Darko of Tamarak Road of Maryland had to say. Mr. Kofi Yeboah Ayensu of Chicago also on his part sounded that,before this tournament he did not give a "dog chance" to the boys that they can live to expectation,since the preparations was not encouraging,but they have proved me wrong by reaching the quter final of the competition. Yes, I am very happy for them and I pray that no injuries and any unforeseen troubles visits them in far South Africa. Mr. Francis Andoh of Newark, New Jersey cautioned, the players to avoid complaceny, play to instruction and listen to their technical handlers,so that they go far in the World Cup tournament.
Rev Adu Asamoah of Massachusets on his part urged players the management, and the handles to give thanks to God for where he has brought them to "with God on our side the Black Stars will do wonders at the on going FIFA's 2010 World Cup Tournament in South Africa." Mr. Bossman Ansu of Ohio Culombus said, he was very happy and lost of words and he prays that the boys avoid complencency ,but let aim for the cup. Ms. Irene Addo of Wood Bridge - Virginia tasked the forward line to shoot well at the up front, the defender should do a man to man tackling and the mid-feilders also should take control at the mid -field and passes acurate to thier collugies. God bless you boys,go for the Gold.
"Ghana's performance with USA was good as they defended gallantly and the will of dying for the nation was there and they lifted their game" Mr. Charles Kofi Donkor of chip in with a telephone call from Albany. This were the words from Mohammed Abdul from Ghana of Brooklyn a surberb of New York, "May the Almighty Allah be with the team in South Affica to continue to perfomers gallentelly and the palyers should not forget that' giving out your best at times like these is not easy, but Allah is with to the last whistle of the game. Issah Allah Ghana will bring the Golden Cup to Ghana at the end of the tournamantent".
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