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Ex-Black Stars goalkeeper recounts how Ghana failed to qualify for 1994 World Cup

Black Stars 1992 567890 Black Stars squad in the 1990s

Tue, 4 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Former Black Stars goalkeeper, Abubakari Damba has told the story behind Ghana’s failed attempt to qualify for the 1994 FIFA World Cup tournament hosted in USA.

Ghana was on the verge of qualifying for what would have been its first World Cup appearance in history when Algeria snatched the slot from the Black Stars. Ghana was in the same group as Algeria and Burundi and needed either a win or a draw to advance from the group.

Being an Islamic country, Algeria demanded that the match be played at midnight in Tlemcen due to the Ramadan fasting.

Ghana scored the opener through C.K Akonnor 15 minutes into the match. According to Abubakari Damba who was in post for Ghana, the Algerians began their antics after conceding the first goal in the first half.

“At halftime, we did not have access to our dressing room, it was locked,” the ex-Ghana goalkeeper told TV3.

He added that after the teams switched sides after the break, he realized that his goal area had flooded and the temperature of the weather made it too cold for him to either move or stand on his feet. He noted that the activity of the media also blinded him.

“We had press men not far from the goal area taking pictures with their bazooka cameras with flashes on left right centre. The game was played at night so it kept blinding me. If it was deliberate or not, well it happened.

“I had a very terrible time on the pitch because my feet were soaked with water. The water was cold. My legs were almost freezing, I needed blood to flow through me,” he stated.

Ghana conceded two goals in the match after the plan of the Algerians to use unfair tactics against the Black Stars worked successfully.

Damba who was very disappointed in himself said that after the game, “we never spoke to anybody, we as players were quiet with our heads buried between our knees. We looked like total strangers to one another.”

“Our hopes were so high, we knew we were going to qualify for the World Cup,” he stated.

Despite beating Ghana, Algeria ended up losing in the playoffs to Nigeria who joined Morocco and Cameroon to represent Africa at the 1994 FIFA World Cup.

JNA/DO

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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