When Ghana lost the 2015 AFCON on penalties to the Ivory Coast, it was a repeat of the 1992 final in Senegal against the same Ivorian opponents where the Black Stars with their star player Abedi Ayew suspended for the final suffered their first penalty shootout heartbreak in Dakar.
After Boubakar Barry converted the most important kick in Bata on 8th February 2015 to win the title for the Elephants 9-8 on penalties despite the fact that the Ivorians blew away their first two kicks whiles Ghana scored theirs to take a comfortable 2-0 lead, what quickly came to my mind was that Ghana needed more luck to win the Nations Cup again since the 1982 triumph in Libya having lost to Egypt in the 2010 finals also.
The talent is there. The pedigree is obvious. But we need more luck and unfortunately it is an abstract component which is not sold on the market nor made by man. Its a divine intervention. Yes people have argued well that Ghana won the four nations Cup titles with great group of players who played their hearts out but this time around we needed luck. How could Cote d’Ivoire throw away first two penalties and still win it?
Why should one team lose the final of a major tournament twice against the same rival in the same painful manner? Did Ghana need more luck ? I believe so but what did Oti Akenteng the Ghana Football Association technical director has to say when I engagd him on this topic at the hotel du Parc in Port-Gentil where he visited the Black Stars.
“Americans do not believe in luck in this world. All is about effort. Yes there is luck in football but I believe its more about effort. If you put in more effort, what is luck? Put in all your effort and win. As I say Americans do not believe in luck but effort. I am a Ghanaian so I believe in luck but I want more effort ” Oti Akenteng told me.
But it is not only the Black Stars that need more luck to win silverware but also the coach Avram Grant who has lost three major football finals in his 45 -year coaching career – the 2008 UEFA Champions league finals as a Chelsea manager, the 2009 FA Cup finals as a Porthsmouth boss and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations finals as Ghana coach.
Good effort and some good luck could do the trick for the Black Stars.
Follow the writer Gariba Raubil on twitter @GRAUBIL