CAN 2008: Guinea salvages some pride in 1-2 loss to Ghana


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CAN 2008: Guinea salvages some pride in 1-2 loss to Ghana

Even in defeat, the Syli Nationale of Guinea earned some respect when its captain and playmaker Pascal Fendounou, received the man of the match award, shortly after leading his team to a respectable 1-2 loss to hosts Ghana Black Stars in the opening match of the 2008 Africa Nations’ cup tournament here Sunday. The fair play award went to Chelsea super star Michael Essien of Ghana. The Guinean captain was on hand to marshal his teammates to a deserving outing and only went down to the star-studded Ghanaians just on the dot of 90 minutes when Sulley Muntari rifled home from just outside the penalty box. The Black Stars dominated the first half of the match, hitting the upright five times in a match which turned out to be very difficult for the hosts in the second stanza. Asamoah Gyan scored the winners’ opening goal from the penalty spot in the 53r d minute but a startled Guinea drew level 11 minutes later, thanks to a perfect header from Kalambani Oumar. A troubled Ghana side even brought in legendary Abedi Pele’s son, Andre Dede Ayew, but this did not improve their fortunes until the very last minute. However, coach Claude Le Roy came up with a ready excuse for the Ghanaians’ lack-lustre performance. While he praised his players for winning the match, coach Le Roy attributed the low-level performance to the condition of the turf. He said the pitch was too hard to bring the best out of his team. On his part, Guinean coach Nouzaret said he was disappointed with the performance of his boys and hoped they would raise their standard in the next match.

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