Date: January 23rd, 2015
Venue: Estadio de Mongomo
City: Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea
Time: 18:00 (CAT)
Match Result: Ghana 1 – 0 Algeria
Goal Scorers: 1 – 0, Asamoah Gyan 90’
The GSV Top Class Award
Any player that overcomes a bout of Malaria and has the desire and engine to play 90 minutes for his country just days later would already be a standout candidate for the GSV Top Class Award, yet Baby Jet is not one for just doing the amazing feats well; Asamoah Gyan has a penchant for the extraordinary and he added to his legend by again leading his nation to a much need and appreciated result with some degree of panache. After the gaffer took off both Ayew brothers, who did look a tad bit off the pace as the game wore on, Baby Jet took the captains armband and continued to chip away at an extremely suspect yet hard to breakdown Algerian defence. His optional time goal was a true strikers effort of the highest calibre, with the angle closed down and a defender breathing down his neck, Gyan fired his shot into the ground and towards that far post, without looking up once to see where the goalkeeper was positioned; if quality finishes were to be rated by a panel of top class finishers, Baby Jet would have received high ratings form the best of them. The GSV Top Class Award deservedly goes to a man that showed a great deal of tenacity and drive to play for his team even when he was not at full fitness and he showed an even greater deal of class to finish an effort that most would have skied into the night sky.
The GSV Class Clown Award
With egg on our faces, we begrudgingly declare that we at GSV are the unlikely winners of the GSV Class Clown Award; after mocking gaffer Avram Grant for withdrawing two of his greatest attacking assets, the Ayew brothers, and leaving on a striker who was barely match fit enough to even start the encounter. The seasoned yet perpetually stressed looking gaffer placed his faith in a man he knew had the quality to turn a half chance into a wining goal regardless of how fit or unfit he was, it was a bitter pill to swallow for the South Africans praying for a draw in this encounter and a harsh lesson to all on sundry that form is temporary while class is indeed permanent. Avram Grant deserves an apology from us all at GSV for prematurely questioning his tactics and substitutions, if it brings his side the result they desire, then long may he continue to prove us wrong. We secretly hope that it will be the last time we step up onto the podium of shame and accept the GSV Class Clown Award, publically.
The Grand Stand View
This encounter begun with the Black Stars not playing the fluid high tempo attacking game they spoiled us to in the opening exchanges of their clash against the Lions of Teranga, the inclusion of Gyan and the adaptation of a more naturally attacking 4-4-2 ensured that the side took their time to move up the gears before taking the game by the scruff of its neck instead of dominating early and running out of steam like they did against Senegal. A few meaty challenges went unpunished on both sides and that aggravated more players to start trying to get away with more and more rash tackles, it was onto the officials to curb the unnecessary display of testosterone levels running high; a cynical triple team challenge on Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu lead to a fracas that involved individual members of each side attacking and getting more shots on target at their opponents than they had at their opponents goal in the entire 1st stanza. The refereed needed help from his assistants to ease the situation, yet he failed to caution any of the perpetrators for the brawl or even call them in alongside their skippers and issue a stern warning to them about their over aggressive behaviour. The half ended with more play acting from the Algerian attack line than actually attacking play. The Desert Warriors continued to defend well in the second half as The Black Stars threw endless ball forward in the hope of catching their opponents off their game, Algeria could be excused for feeling as if they could settle for a draw after again failing to dominate an encounter, yet Baby Jet had other ideas in mind; latching onto one of the more accurate punts in behind the Desert Warriors’ backline, Gyan showed his class by netting a top class strikers effort to give his side a much needed 3 points and blow the Group of Death wide open.