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Players Abroad Sat, 15 Dec 2007

Bennard Kumordzi On Panionios & Ghana

BENNARD Yao Kumordzi has reflected on his recent trials and tribulations with both Panionios and the Ghanaian national side…. After a disappointing Olympic Games qualifier for the Ghana's under-23 team against Nigeria in Accra a fortnight ago, Ghana's talented attacking midfielder Bennard Yao Kumordzi has bounced back to help club side FC Panionios win an away victory against Austrian champions Austria Vienna in the UEFA Cup. Three teams shall qualify from Panionios' group to progress to the last 32, and Kumordzi holds this dream very dearly. “The win puts Panionios in 3rd position ahead of Turkish giants Galatasaray," he said. "We created 20 chances in that particular game but scoring became a problem as the Austrian goalkeeper kept frustrating all our attempts." The winner eventually came in the 92nd minute and, just after the goal, the referee whistled for the close of proceedings. It was time unfettered joy in Athens as Panionios pulled off perhaps the most exciting win in the UEFA Cup so far. And Kumordzi admitted that it's been one of his best games so far in the UEFA Cup. He attributed his high performance in the game to the fact that he received good psychological mentoring from friends and fans after the Olympic loss, and also that the coach played him in an attacking midfield role where he enjoyed most. “I can play defensive mifdield but I can play attacking midfield far better than defensive," said the former Norrkoping man.

The 1-0 win for Panionios means they have a home advantage over French side FC Bordeaux on 20th December, not least because the French side has already qualified. And another good individual performance could see the 22 year old return to international contention. "I hope to bounce back to get a spot in the final list for the senior national team, the Black Stars, for the African Cup of Nations in Ghana," he said. "As a footballer, there are times when the day will go bad for you and you will see yourself in a game as if you aren't a footballer but with time and hard work, things can fall in their normal place. I don't want to remember that Olympic qualifier against Nigeria but I think the hot weather in Ghana at 3pm affected me significantly and all my other colleagues from Europe also complained about the weather condition as at that time. But I still think anything is possible in football therefore Ghanaians must not lose hope until Nigeria plays South Africa," he said of the outside chance of Ghana's U-23s reaching the Olympic Games.

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Kumordzi says he believes strongly that, if he gets enough playing time in the Stars' camp, he can justify himself and win a spot in the first eleven. But he further stressed that even if he doesn't make it to Ghana 2008; he still has many more years to play for the Black Stars. “I only remembered getting 15 minutes play time in the senior national team in which I justified myself, but there is more I can do when given the opportunity to play”, he concluded.

Source: 90 MInutes Newspaper
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