Most Ghanaian football fans on Wednesday evening silently relished the Black Stars lone goal victory over debutants Botswana with the absence of the usual euphoria over the exploits of the national team in international feats.
Hitherto, anytime the Stars chalked a win either in qualifiers to the Africa Nations Cup or the FIFA Word Cup, there have been spontaneous jubilation deep into the night with various forms of celebrations across the breadth and width of the country.
In their mood of jubilation, fans and supporters often engage in all manner of enjoyment to savour the occasion by singing and dancing, especially at drinking spots, partying deep into the night amidst tooting of car and lorry horns but this time round there were none of such scenes throughout the major streets and in the various communities.
There have, however, been various heated forms of debate about the performance of the players and the outcome of the match with some putting the under-par performance of the match on the shoulders of the referee and coach.
Mr Divine Koblah, Senior Editor with the Ghana News Agency, said the performance of the players made him feel sick with a suspected high blood pressure after the match. He was surprised about the way the boys approached the game as if they were not ready to win the match.
He was amazed that even though the Stars had no serious marksman besides Asamaoh Gyan, the coach still left out some of the experienced players when the team really needed somebody who could hold onto the ball from the midfield up to the lone striker.
A student at Madina Zongo, Gariba Sadat Weidaga, told GNA Sports that the Stars could have won the match in the first half if they had put their acts together instead of always sending diagonal passes and making back passes which were detrimental to their game plan.
He said the Stars and Ghanaians should however not be disappointed with the red card handed the captain of the side, John Mensah since he sacrificed to save the team from conceding a goal which could have cost the Stars in the on-going Africa Cup of Nations.
Kalifa Musah, a trader at Makola market in Accra central, blamed Coach Goran Stevanovic for letting down the high spirits of the Ghanaian fans and wondered why he left some experienced players like Derek Boateng who is a combative midfielder on the bench as well as Kwadwo Asamoah and Jonathan Mensah.
He said now that “we have been given the baptism of fire, there is the need for us to re-strategise and meet the rest of the matches by adopting an all-attacking game instead of defending and being on the back foot”.
Ollabode Williams, East Ayawaso Constituency Secretary of the NDC told the GNA Sports that even though the Stars did not put up a vintage performance, there is the hope that they can improve with the acts as the competition progresses since the country has always been later starters with their games.
He urged the players to put in extra effort and dedication as well as the zeal to succeed in an effort to annex the Cup since the whole country is behind them with dedicated prayers and good will.
It would be recalled that at the week-end the Vice President, John Dramani Mahama, on a visit to the camp of the Stars in Franceville, Gabon, advised the players not be complacent in their approach to the games and to meet each challenge with dedication and the zeal to achieve success for the country. GNA