It is “do or die” for the Black Stars this afternoon in Germany. The other four African teams (Togo, Tunisia, Angola, and Cote D’Ivoire) have all been sent home, and Ghana must win in order to proceed to the next round of the World Cup. I haven’t been much of a sports fan for the last 20 years, but it’s impossible not to get caught up in the electricity here.
Being the token obruni Americans in our Mamprobi neighborhood has made for some fun competitive tension everywhere we go. Though I’m privately rooting for Ghana because I feel like they deserve a win much more than the U.S., publicly, I must wear the red-white-and-blue in order to talk shit and make people laugh.
On this morning’s crowded tro-tro ride to work, for instance, I told our driver, in as apologetic a tone as I could, “I’m sorry we have to score you today,” (using the Ghanaian term for “beat”) which elicited shouts and score predictions from the 25 black passengers pressing around us:
“Ohhhhh! Obruni! It will be 3-nil Ghana! 2-1 Black Stars!”
My response of, “Inshallah!” (God willing) caused another happy explosion of mirth, if only because they didn’t expect me to know the term.
But the Black Stars, Ghanaians, and the entire continent of Africa are confident and ready to give the USA a public beating on the field. One UK newspaper declares that “if the USA beat Ghana, a side strewn with skill and agility, it will count as one of the greatest feats in US soccer history.”
The match falls in the middle of the work day, so we’ll watch it here at the PPAG office, probably on the big-screen TV at the Young & Wise center next door. Then our walk home will either be among mobs of ecstatic mayhem or… well, we’ll find out.