Ghana celebrates after World Cup win over Serbia

Ghanaians have thronged the streets of the capital and launched what promises to be all-night celebrations to mark the first win by an African team at the World Cup in South Africa.

Large crowds gathered around major streets in Accra to celebrate the 1-0 victory against Serbia. Cars draped in the national flag swarmed the streets, and some drivers honked their horns as others sang.

Radio stations also said celebrations were taking place nationally.

The West African nation was the only team from the continent to reach the last 16 at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, and was eager to make its mark – despite the absence of injured Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien – against World Cup first-timers Serbia.

Previously in the tournament, host South Africa drew 1-1 against Mexico in the opening match Friday and Nigeria lost to Argentina 1-0 on Saturday.

The fast-moving Black Stars were finally rewarded when Asamoah Gyan scored an 85th-minute penalty after Ghana had missed a series of chances. The Ghanaians earned the penalty when Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled a cross in the area.

In Nima, one of the capital’s sprawling slums where a giant screen was installed for people to view the match, a jubilant crowd rushed into the streets after the final whistle.

"The Black Stars have started what the African countries in the tournament have not been able to do so far by winning a match," 15-year-old viewer Inusah Gariba said. "We have taken the lead and hopefully an African team – preferably Ghana – would come out tops in the final."

Vendors in the capital said they were thrilled about the victory for their own reasons.

"All day, people bought a few flags but with this win, I am sure that from tomorrow sales would increase," said street hawker Juliana Sarpong.

Elsewhere in Accra, a carnival set up on Osu Oxford street promised to let revelers "enjoy ’til deep in the night," said party organizer Jones Oppong.

"Our boys have proved that African soccer has arrived," he said.