Ghana notches a first for Africa at WCup

Ghana’s victory over Serbia carried more significance than three

points – it was the first World Cup win for an African team on

African soil.

In the process, Ghana gave a big boost to its quest to progress

past the first round after winning its Group D opener on

Sunday.

The Black Stars created better chances in a match in which the

Serbs had an edge in possession.

Striker Asamoah Gyan fired home from the penalty spot five

minutes from time after Serb substitute Zdravko Kuzmanovic handled,

sparking celebrations across the continent.

“This is an important World Cup for Africa and it’s important

that the Africans support each other,” said attacking midfielder

Dede Ayew. “That’s what happened today. The support was marvelous.

We want to thank everyone who came to support us and I hope will

continue to make them proud.”

Regular captain Stephen Appiah, who came in as a substitute late

in the game, also paid tribute to the locals, who are cheering all

African teams.

“That’s what you’re seeing,” he said.“This is the first time

the World Cup is held in Africa, and all Africa is united.”

The Black Stars’ will face tougher opponents Germany and

Australia in their remaining pool matches, but getting off the mark

against Serbia was a morale booster.

“It was an important match for us,” said Ayew. “The aim was

not to avoid losing. Winning was a big bonus for us.”

Ghana play their next game against Australia next Saturday at

Rustenburg.

Ghana’s win was more creditable as it was achieved without

midfield stars Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari.

Asked how he felt to take the Inter Milan player’s place, Ayew

said: “Sulley is Sulley. I respect him as my senior. Sulley won

the Champions League. Sulley won the (Italian) championship and

Sulley is a fantastic player.”