As the 2019 WAFU tournament in Senegal approaches, the Ghanaian football fraternity will begin to reminisce about the magic by the Black Stars B at the 2017 edition on home soil.
A squad laced with quality talents from clubs in the Ghana Premier League was assembled by Coach Maxwell Konadu for the tournament returning after eleven years of dormancy.
Among the squad were some Hearts of Oak players that reminded the Phobians of their one time “Fearsome Fivesome”.
Hearts of Oak were in the form of their lives prior to the 2017 WAFU Tournament hosted in Ghana and that culminated in their contribution of “five” players to Maxwell Konadu’s side.
Towering defender, Vincent Atinga,ever present Thomas Abbey,the sleek Winful Cobbinah, goal hungry Kwame Kizito and the supersonic speedster Patrick Razak mesmerized Maxwell Konadu with their qualities.
An unconvincing start to the tournament cast doubt after Vincent Atinga’s 90th minute penalty rescued the side from disgrace against The Gambia in Cape Coast in the opening game.
Ghana however matched on and silenced the doubting Thomas’ with two wins agains Mali and Guinea in a 2-0 and 1-0 respectively.
In those two wins, Hearts duo, Kwame Kizito scored the second against Guinea with Winful Cobbinah grabbing the winner against Mali.
The team however succumbed to rivals Nigeria by 2-0 in the third game but had already qualified with 6 points from the two games.
A semis against Niger left Ghanaian fans worried as the defeat to Nigeria had left them seated on jagged edge.
The team however rose to the occasion and silenced the Nigeriens with a 2-0 victory.
Stephen Sarfo and yet one of the Hearts of Oak “five” Kwame Kizito saved Ghana.
It was payback time in the finals as Nigeria had also woven their way into the finals.
With the newly built Cape Coast Stadium filled to the rafters, Ghana paid the Nigerians in their own coin with a smashing 4-1 win after the entire caboodles.
A double from Berekum Chelsea’s and eventual tournament top scorer, Stephen Sarfo and two from the Phobian “five” , Vincent Atinga from the spot and Winful Cobbinah nailed the Eagles.
A magical moment most Ghanaians will not forget was when diminutive PATRICK Razak tortured the Nigerian defence after joining the fray from the bench. So troublesome was he that he was put in check with numerous “Eagle” eyes any time he had the ball.
Fast forward into 2019,four members of the “Phobian five “ are enjoying football with their various clubs but the “little Phobian” has fizzled into thin air.
Kwame Kizito is grinding in good performances weekly at Swedish side,BK Hacken with Winful Cobbinah plying his trade with Albanian Club KF Tirana.
Vincent Atinga has not been bad with Kuwaiti club Al Shabab while Thomas Abbey has since starred regularly for Malaysian club,PKNP FC.
Where then is Patrick Razak?
After 3-years of blistering performances with Hearts of Oak, he joined Guinean side Horoya in a reportedly mouthwatering deal in October 2018.
Patrick Razak however failed to glitter at Horoya and finally returned to Ghana in what was rumored to be a contract termination by the Guinean club.
The speedster was on the verge of returning to Hearts of Oak but the rumor never saw the light of day.
Patrick Razak has since gone into hibernation.
What might have caused a career dip for the one time Tamale Utrecht Academy winger who took the Ghana Premier League by storm?
Where is Patrick Razak?