Usually this has been the unpredictability that have surrounded the senior national team since their last major triumph in 1982.
4 Black Stars high moments of 2022
For the Ghana Black Stars, 2022 will described as bitter-sweet year for the team. In a year that started with a familiar African Cup of Nations (AFCON) disappointment; it ended with Ghana being one of the five African countries to represent the continent at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Support for the Black Stars is often a roller coaster not for the faint hearted. The wins and excitement come, however, the disappointments also tail in between.
Therefore, in this article, we summarized four times the Black Stars threw Ghana into a frenzy and brought excitement to it teeming supporters this year.
1 . World Cup Qualification: After a not-so-perfect at the first stage of the 2022 World Cup qualification, the Black Stars managed to pip South Africa to the final group spot to qualify for the playoffs. Then they were drawn against bitter foes Nigeria.
For a team that has performed woefully at the AFCON some weeks earlier, expectations for the Black Stars to make the mundial was very low. But a cagey goalless draw with the Super Eagles in the first leg at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi gave Ghana a sense of optimism heading onto the second game.
A Thomas Partey goal, which was eventually canceled by a strike for Nigerian and Napoli striker Victor Oshimen qualified Ghana to its 4th World Cup via the away goal rule.
2 . Win over South Korea: At the just ended 2022 FIFA World Cup, Ghana was the lowest ranked team heading into the tournament. This gave the Black Stars very little chance to progress from its group made of Portugal, South Korea and Uruguay.
After losing painfully to Portugal in the opening game, Ghana faced a win-or-go-home situation in its second game against South Korea.
However, two quick first half goals from Mohammed Salisu and Mohammed Kudus set Ghana on the path victory. Despite the Korean equalizing in the second half, Mohammed Kudus scored his second and the winner for the team
This made Ghana avoid elimination from the competition that early and it threw the whole into wild celebrations.
3 . Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew caps: Black Stars captain Andre ‘Dede’ Ayew etched his name in Ghana’s history books by becoming the most capped player in the national team.
The Al Sadd midfielder did this when he played in Ghana’s final pre-World Cup friendly against Switzerland.
Ayew became the most Ghanaian player with 110 appearances after that match, one more than iconic former striker Asamoah Gyan (109).
He went on to play in Ghana’s three games at the World Cup to take the tally to 113.
He made his 100th appearance for Ghana in November 2021, scoring the only goal against South Africa in a crucial World Cup qualifying match in Cape Coast.
“It’s been an honour of a lifetime to play for my country and a blessing to be able to get 100 caps. Thanks to all players and coaches who have helped me all the way. Thanks also to the GFA and the Minister of Sports. God bless our homeland Ghana and make us Great and Strong,” said Ayew after the game.
4 . Naturalization of foreign-born players: In July, Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams and Brighton and Hove Albion defender Tariq Lamptey announced their switches to represent the Black Stars of Ghana.
These announcements came in time for Ghana’s preparation for the 2022 World Cup. Many deem this as a high for the Black Stars because these highly sought after players who switched to Ghana from their countries of birth.
Wiliams was born in Spain to Ghanaian parents, making him eligible to represent the nation after playing just one match for Spain.
He paid a visit to Ghana with his brother recently and the adoration he received played a role in his subsequent choice.
"The people told me to play for Black Stars. They said: ‘You’re a striker, you’re the best,’" he said.