Agony follows Black Stars exit


ACCRA, July 3 – Ghanaians noisily expressed pride and sadness after their national team was knocked out of the World Cup by Uruguay in an agonising penalty shoot-out in Johannesburg on Friday.
Drivers in Accra’s Abeka Lapaz district sounded their car horns in support of the team for putting up a good show in the quarter-finals.

"I’m still proud of the team’s performance. After all we did better than other African teams which could not make it out of their groups," said Kwesi Appiah, a taxi driver.

Elsewhere, the streets of the seaside Ghanaian capital were emptied of fans within minutes of the team losing.

Fans quickly took off their regalia specially designed in the national colours and left behind the main streets where giant screens had been mounted.

"We gave our best. We were a bit unfortunate that we missed a couple of chances. But the team deserves all congratulations for going this far in the tournament," said dejected Michael Aseidu, an accountant.

"We are disappointed, but not too disappointed when the big guns such as Brazil, Portugal and Italy were booted out of the competition," he said.

There were shouts of joy when Sulley Muntari delivered his thunderbolt shot in the closing stages of the first half to give Ghana the lead.

But the celebrations were cut short when Uruguay’s Diego Forlan levelled through a spectacular free kick.

In some bars, groups of supporters argued noisly with some blaming Ghana’s Serbian coach Milovan Rajevac for his tactics in the second half.

Bar owners, who had stocked up in anticipation of brisk business following a Ghana win, also suffered a painful defeat.

"I’m so disappointed. When will I finish selling all the drinks which I had bought on credit?" asked Ama Okyere, a bar owner at Abeka Lapaz.