Today in Sports History: Ghana beat Uganda [2−0] in the Africa Cup of Nations final to become the first country to win the trophy for keep
On this day 18 March 1978(Exactly 45 years ago today) Ghana became the first country to win the African Cup of Nations for keeps by beating Uganda 2-0 in the final of the 11th Africa Cup of Nations at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Goals Scored: Opoku Afriyie 38, 64
Earlier Ghana had won the Cup of Nations in 1963 and 1965 to achieve a hat-trick of successes in the competition’s history.
CAF had to get a new trophy for the Nations Cup staged in Nigeria in 1980 and fortunately enough the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa (SCSA) donated it.
The first trophy that the Black Stars won for keeps was called Mustapha Cup and the new one donated by the SCSA was christened the African Unity Cup.
Ghana earned the title ‘the Brazil of Africa’ after winning the AFCON for keeps, for emulating the pace set by Brazil in 1970, winning the World Cup for keeps, and also the mere fact that Ghana went to Brazil for their training tour ahead of the tournament.
The then Head of State of Ghana, General Ignatius Kutu Acheamong, was also the Commissioner of Sports, and he appointed Col. Simpe-Asante as his personal assistant. So, the government’s love for sports was, therefore, very high.
Due to this, they arranged for the Black Stars to go on a pre-tournament training tour in Brazil for the second time to prepare them adequately for the tournament.
Goalkeepers; Joseph Carr (Hasaacas), Abdulai Chesco (SS 1974), Fuseini Salifu (Asante Kotoko)
Defenders: P.S.K. Paha (Eleven Wise), Ofei Ansah (Hearts of Oak), Haruna Yusif (Corners), Isaac Acquaye (Dumas Boys of GTP), Awuley Quaye (Great Olympics -Captain), James Kuuku Dadzie (Hasaacas), Justice Moore (Eleven Wise).
Midfielders: Adolf Armah (Hearts of Oak), John Nketia Yawson (Eleven Wise), Addae Kyenkyehene (Asante Kotoko), Karim Abdul Razak (Asante Kotoko), Mohammed Ahmed Polo (Hearts of Oak)
Forwards: Dan Kayede (Great Olympics), George Alhassan (Great Olympics), Emmanuel Quarshie (Hasaacas), Opoku Afriyie (Asante Kotoko), Anas Seidu (Hearts of Oak), Willie Klutse (Dumas Boys), Kuntu Blankson (SS 1974)
Coach: Fred Osam-Duodu
Assistant Coach: E.K Afranie
Abdul Razak “Golden Boy” was voted the Most Valuable player of the tournament.
Highlights of the final:
BY: George’Alan Green’ Mahamah