Ghanaians are infatuated with football. It’s the most popular sporting event in the country, very much like the majority of nations across the world.
With a highly anticipated and crucial match pending with Germany on Saturday, our group went to an open air diner/bar to not only watch the game, but to experience football fever in the suburbs of Accra. As game time neared, the place became packed to the brim with insanely enthusiastic fans cheering on the Black Stars who desperately needed either a draw or win to advance to the next round in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
While the atmosphere remained tense in the first 45 minutes of play, no goals were scored to break the ice. That’s where the second half came in.
With the game tied at zero apiece, Germany’s Mario Gotze scored the game’s 1st goal to make it 1-0 Germany. The place fell dead silent and all of the excitement deflated faster than a popped balloon. However, the Black Stars scored two quick goals to bring a 2-1 lead for Ghana.
The celebrations we witnessed ensuing these goals were unlike any that I have seen for any fan base for any sport. The Ghanaians roared, danced, sprinted and flat-out lost it each time Ghana scored. The video I posted above doesn’t even do the coronations justice. It’s something worth watching in person.
The match eventually ended in a 2-2 draw which gave both teams a point in their bracket. Many of the locals were visibly and audibly upset that Ghana had only accomplished a draw when they had a chance to win. I on the other hand consider the draw a victory for Ghana as Germany is a formidable opponent and was predicted to win the match. Germany is ranked 2nd in the world rankings while Ghana is ranked 37th overall.
Overall, the experience was highly memorable and the group bonded while we observed how enthusiastic Ghana is towards football. In addition to this, I noticed that commentators from Joy FM were at the restaurant performing play-by-play and color commentary for the match. I had a chance to introduce myself to them and talk about my upcoming internship with the popular radio station. I managed to immerse myself in the culture while scoring an opportunity to speak with future potential associate workers.