Date: January 27th, 2015
Venue: Estadio de Mongomo
City: Mongomo, Equatorial Guinea
Time: 20:00 (CAT)
Match Result: South Africa 1 – 2 Ghana
Goal Scorers: 1 – 0, Mandla Masango 17’; 1 – 1, John Boye 73’; 1 -2, André Ayew 83’
The GSV Top Class Award
For the first time in the Afcon 2015 tournament, South Africa had their first choice central defensive partnership of Mulomowandau Mathoho and Rivaldo Coetzee paired together in the heart of defence; the entire side seemed to be far more balanced and composed as the two talented lads battled well against the dangerous partnership of Asamoah Gyan and Jordan Ayew, stifling their more illustrious opponents and ensuring that the Black Stars were often frustrated at their lack of offensive output. For their impressive and courageous performance, the two central defenders are the winners of our GSV Top Class Award; as they proved that their partnership is one of the premier central defensive partnerships on the continent and that they will continue to grow in leaps and bounds over the coming years, Mathoho and Coetzee are worthy winners of the GSV Top Class Award.
The GSV Class Clown Award
The standard of officiating in Africa has often been described as sub-par and borderline shambolic, yet last night we may have reached an all-time low that would have had even the most earnest of Ghanaian supporters wondering just how much the referee and his team officials had pocketed to throw the match in favour of their side. Hamada Nampiandraza’s performance was a shocking example of why South African sides dread playing on the continent and worthy of our GSV Class Clown Award; displaying no level of consistency in his decisions and an even lower level of aptitude for an encounter of this magnitude, Mr. Nampiandraza is guilty of spoiling and entertaining encounter and removing much of the competitive edge that made this game as great as it was destined to be. As long as biased referee’s like Hamada Nampiandraza are allowed to call fixtures of this magnitude between two nations from rivalling factions within the continent, the standard of football in Africa will never eclipse that of its foreign counterparts; for being so incompetent and terrible at doing his job, Hamada Nampiandraza is one of the worthiest winners of the GSV Class Clown Award we will ever have.
The Grand Stand View
An encounter that promised great entertainment and delivered upon much of that promise, South Africa were in with a chance of qualifying out of the Group of Death until they could no longer hold their lead against the forceful attacking prowess of Ghana; showing a lot of the mental fragility they displayed throughout the competition in a 2nd half that they failed to dominate, Bafana Bafana found it hard to hold out against 13 men as the fans go behind Ghana and the referee made it impossible for them to compete fairly. Ghana, to their credit, kept hammering away at their less composed opponents and their gaffer Avram Grant made well timed tactical changes and substitutions to afford the Black Stars and opportunity to get a positive result out of the clash and secure their passage into the quarter-finals of Africa’s greatest football showpiece. It was beautiful to watch Ghana in full flow, making the most of their advantage and punishing defensive errors by their under pressure opponents; the much more determined Black Stars look like a serious threat going forward in this competition and they could be on track to have the perfect opportunity to add to their 4 African Cup of Nations titles in this 30th edition.