Flames Burn Brightly As Black Stars Struggle To Shine
Tournament outsiders Malawi unexpectedly held the more fancied Ghanaians to a goalless draw last night in both sides’ final warm-up match before their opening ACN fixtures next week.
Ghana dominated the match, held at Swaziland’s Mavuso Sports Centre because the Black Stars objected to the Astroturf surface at the Somhlolo National Stadium in Lobamba.
And it nearly didn’t take place at all because of a dispute between the Ghanaian FA and the team over appearance bonuses, which was only solved at the last minute.
The Black Stars’ failure to break down the Flames was a particular embarrassment for Ghanaian fans who had complained that the Malawi “minnows” were insufficiently strong opposition for such a warm-up.
By contrast, Flames coach Kinna Phiri was delighted. His side had drawn 1-1 with Egypt and beaten Mozambique 1-0 before holding Ghana, which Phiri described as “the icing on top of the cake.”
Ghana open their African Nations Cup campaign against Togo next Monday, while Malawi face Algeria on the same day.
Complacency may have cost Cote D’Ivoire the 2008 African title, but their fans aren’t falling into the trap this time around.
“The midfield is vague without Romaric,” said one, referring to the controversial omission of the Sevilla midfielder Ndri Romaric from the Elephants’ squad.
Meanwhile, Cocody University student Rose Kouadio told website goal.com: “In 2008, they broke my heart like my high school lover…I’ll be watching soap operas all through January. If they win, we’ll dance with them then.”
Tags: Malawi, Ghana, Black Stars, African Nations Cup