*Africa’s Most Memorable World Cup Moments*
6. Ghana Beat the Czechs in Koln
Having lost their first-ever World Cup game 2-0 against Italy, Ghana faced the unenviable proposition of meeting the Czech Republic in Koln.
The Europeans were coming fresh off their third-place finish at Euro 2004 and a magnificent 3-0 victory over the United States in the opening game.
Ghana could have been forgiven for approaching such a fixture with trepidation.
Instead, they made an explosive start, Asamoah Gyan scoring after only two minutes. A team containing the likes of Pavel Nedved, Tomas Rosicky, Karel Poborsky and Petr Cech huffed and puffed for an equaliser, but none was forthcoming.
Their task was made harder by a 65th-minute red card for Tomas Ujfalusi (who had a poor evening all-round) and became impossible in the 82nd minute when Sulley Muntari doubled the Black Stars’ lead.
Ghana had struggled against the Italians but against the Czech Republic they looked composed, organised and, perhaps most importantly, carried a genuine attacking threat.
Most impressively, perhaps, was the fact that Ghana’s starting line-up that day was the youngest of all of the World Cup finalists. The Black Stars had an average age of 24 years and 203 days.
It was a watershed moment for the nation’s football.