World Cup 2006: Stephen Appiah recounts memories leading to Ghana’s Brazil showdown

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Former Ghana captain Stephen Appiah has taken a trip down memory lane, giving an insight into their adventure at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

On their debut appearance at the global showpiece, the Black Stars exceeded expectations as they progressed from the group stage to the Round of 16 where they bowed to Brazil.

Their campaign was based on the fact that Ghana, placed 48 on the Fifa ranking going into the tournament, came up against the Czech Republic (second), the USA (fifth) and Italy (12th) in a difficult Group E.

“Most people don’t know but we actually agreed among ourselves that we were not just going to add up [the numbers],” Appiah said on GTV.

“We went to that World Cup to make history and that made the difference. Our aim was to do something and I think we achieved it because we were united.

“If you came to our camp, you would not see any difference between the young players and senior players because we were all one.

“We were united and played like a team, so it was easy for us to come together.”

After an opening day 2-0 loss to Italy, Ghana bounced back on matchday two as Asamoah Gyan and Sulley Muntari netted to ensure a 2-0 triumph over the Czech Republic.

A 2-1 victory over the USA ensured the Black Stars finished second on the group table to qualify to the knockout stage.

Against defending champions Brazil, the Black Stars’ Cinderella run would come crashing down after a 3-0 defeat.

“We were excited we were going to play against Brazil at the 2006 World Cup,” Appiah added.

“We were excited because we were going to face the best team and to also showcase ourselves to the world.”

Ghana have since gone on to play at two more World Cup tournaments – 2010 in South Africa where they reached the quarter-final and 2014 in Brazil where they exited at the first round for the first time in their history.

Source:Ghanaweb.com