Five players who made Black Stars first World Cup memorable

Black Stars 2006 World Cup Ghana's 2006 World Cup team

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

Ghana’s first history appearance at the World Cup was one of the indelible memorable moments that cannot be erased in the minds of many.

From the moment the country first sealed its qualification to the Mundial after 40 years of wait to the final whistle when the Black Stars were knocked out of the tournament, it all felt like heaven on earth.

Ghana had a very poor start to the tournament which was expected as the Black Stars lost by 2-0 to eventual winners Italy but bounced back to beat group opponents Czech Republic and the United States of America to reach the knockout phase.

The joy of seeing Ghana play against football powerhouse Brazil was much more fan than the results which often leads the story.

16 years after the tournament, here are five players who made Ghana’s first World Cup appearance memorable.

Asamoah Gyan

The young blooded Ghanaian striker had bounced on the scene waiting to explode. Gyan is fondly remembered for scoring Ghana’s first goal in history at the FIFA World Cup.

The striker scored the goal just 70 seconds from the blast of the referee’s whistle. Gyan’s goal was rated as the fastest goal in the history of the World Cup.

Richard ‘Olele’ Kingson

The experienced Ghanaian goalkeeper went viral after Ghana’s 3-0 loss to Brazil. Ronaldo’s goal against the former Blackpool goalkeeper is still fresh in the minds of many football fans like yesterday.

Brazil beat Ghana’s offside traps in that match and that was a big punishment for Olele.

Haminu Dramani

One of the Black Stars players who became prominent in Ghana after the World Cup was Haminu Dramani. The winger went to the tournament with his name wrongly spelt as ‘Haminu Draman’, yet he was able to make the headlines.

The left winger had been left out on the bench in two matches and finally got his opportunity in Ghana’s third group match. It was a big gamble for coach Ratomir Dujkovic as his likely starter Sulley Muntari had been suspended for two bookable offences.

Dramani demonstrated the faith invested in him by Ghana’s coach and scored Black Stars' opener against USA. His good performance got him another starting place and earned him a place in the game against Brazil.

Stephen Appiah

The story of Ghana’s first World Cup cannot be complete without Stephen Appiah. The ex-Juventus player led by example and was very instrumental throughout the tournament.

Appiah always led Ghana out of the tunnel for the matches but one of the memorable things which got the attention of many was his style of wearing his socks.

Appiah’s biggest moment at the 2006 World Cup was his goal against USA and the way he marked the celebration.

Samuel Osei Kuffour

The Bayern Munich star was a key player in Ghana’s squad going into the tournament. Kuffour had been with the team for long and even agreed the captaincy be given to Appiah.

However, Kuffour’s World Cup experience was short-lived when he committed a huge blunder in Ghana’s opening match against Italy. Kuffour sent a weak back pass to Richard Kingson which was intercepted by Vincenzo Iaquinta to score Italy’s second goal of the match.

The game against Italy was Kuffour’s last game in a Black Stars jersey, he was benched and never given a chance for the rest of the tournament.

Author: Joseph Adamafio


Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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