On this day 11 July 2004 (Exactly 15 years ago) Ghana’s Black Queens thrashed Guinea Conakry by 13-0 in their African Women Championship qualifier played in Conakry.
The score line, which significantly spelt Guinea Conakry, saw Africa’s Crowned Queens Adjoa Bayor, Florence Okoe and Akua Anokyewaa, registering a hat-trick each in the game.
The Queens made their intentions known from the blast of the whistle with series of onslaught, which saw the noisy thick crowd applauding the Ghanaians who overwhelmed their opponents with good inter-positional play spiced with flair and amazing precision. Okoe opened the floodgates in the 10th minute when she capitalized on good exchanges with Bayor.
The Guineans reacted swiftly and almost succeeded but for an offside trap, which was craftly set by the Ghanaian defence, built around Mavis Danso.
Having set up Anokyewaa to head home the second goal four minutes later; Bayor made it three in another four minutes interval when she profited from a Gloria Oforiwaa’s set-up.
At a time the Guineans seemed to have succeeded with their offside trap; Anokyewaa broke lose and tore through three defenders before scoring her personal two and Ghana’s four.
Okoe became the first to register the first hat trick when she scored two classic goals within 12 minutes only for Bayor to score the 7th afterwards.
Mamuna Darku justified her return into the team after months of injury with an incredible 30-metre long drive that rendered goalkeeper Diallo Aissata helpless.
Anokyewaa followed with a second hat trick on the stroke of half time with a glancing header.
As if by specific instructions, the Guineas played strictly to their idea of off side, which perfectly worked to their advantage. However, their efforts were not enough to prevent Elizabeth Baidoo from netting the 10th goal which.
The appetite of the Queens for goals grew stronger as the few Ghanaian supporters present cheered them on.
Bayor however, scored when it was six minutes left for play while Anita Amenuku, who was making her debut finished the demolishing job on the stroke of time.
Black Queens coach John Eshun expressed satisfaction with the performance of the team .
“I’m overwhelmed about our performance because I was expecting a lesser goal margin”, the coach said.
Coach Eshun was however, not surprised about the game’s outcome. “We’re really prepared for the game, and it was our intention to qualify here to render the second leg a mere academic exercise.” The coach praised the girls for their effort, saying they played to instructions.
On this day 11 July 1999(Exactly 20 years ago) Two goals each by Joe Fameyeh and “wonder boy” Ishmael Addo, helped Accra Hearts of Oak to dismiss visiting Tano Bofoakwa 4-0 in their ABC Golden Lager Premier football league match played at the Accra Sports Stadium .
The Phobians could have made a bumper harvest in the match but striker Osumanu Amadu threw most of the scoring chances away before he was substituted in the second half.
Hearts kicked off but it took them some time to find their rhythm and when they did midfielder Charles Allotey made the first goal attempt with a left-footer shot which sailed over the crossbar.
In the 17th minute Amadu had one of the finest opportunities to put Hearts ahead but with only goalkeeper Damba Mohammed to beat the bulky striker shot wide.
But Amadu managed to set Fameyeh up in the 21st minute as he tapped the ball into an empty net for Hearts’ opener.
After that goal, Fameyeh became a target of rough play and in the 28th and 32nd minutes, Ashanti Manpong-based class one referee, Alhassan Brobbey had showed the yellow card to defenders Kwame Antwi and Nana Gyamfi respectively, for reckless tackle
Hearts brought on Addo for Amadu at the commencement of the second half. He partnered beautifully with Fameyeh and play-maker Yartey and gave the defence of the visitors a lot to worry about.
Fameyeh increased the tally to two in the 65th minute with an tapped the ball into the net after it dropped onto his path following mid-air tussle between Addo and goalkeeper Mohammed.
Two minutes later, Yartey put Addo through to head home the third goal and in the 82nd minute, he scored his personal second and the fourth for Hearts.
The visitors never posed any serious challenge to Hearts except in the last three minutes of the game but they could not score.
On this day 11 July 2013 (Exactly 6 years ago) Hearts of Oak appointed FIFA Marketing Consultant Neil Armstrong-Mortagbe as the club’s Managing Director.
The decision was taken by the Board of Directors of the club at a meeting at the club’s secretariat.
The ambitious football administrator hailed his appointment as the ‘momentous’ moment of his life.
“Thursday, 11th July, 2013, shall be a day I shall forever remember till my dying day,” Mortagbe posted on his facebook page
“I was sitting in the Annual General Meeting of the Advertising Association of Ghana when I received a text message from Board Chairman of Accra Hearts of Oak SC Limited, Togbe Afede XIV
“It was a very short but historic text message informing me that the Club’s Board had appointed me Managing Director of the club I have loved and supported actively for decades.
“What an awesome responsibility! What a momentous moment in history! And what a weighty burden! To be chosen, from amongst approximately 8 million Phobians, to lead the club?
“I can only say, “To God be the glory, Great things he has done” and to thank you all for your kind words, words of admonishment, words of encouragement and words challenging me to deliver my best for Hearts of Oak.
“With God’s help, and the support of the entire rank and file of the club, we shall “recapture the glory of Phobia” and contribute our best for the up-liftment of Ghana Football. NEVER EVER SAY DIE!
Mortagbe was former chairman of the club’s National Chapters Committee-which is the umbrella body for the club’s supporters.
On this day 11 July 2009 (Exactly 10 years ago) Joseph Agbeko retained his IBF bantamweight title after beating Vic Darchinyan .
It wasn’t the Fight of the Year candidate it had potential to be, but after 12 mean, ugly and spirited rounds of brawling, IBF bantamweight titlist Joseph Agbeko retained with a tight unanimous decision over top ten pound-for-pounder Vic Darchinyan on Showtime from Sunrise, Florida
Agbeko, then (27-1, 22 KO) won on scores of 116-111, 114-113 and 114-113 in a fight that featured multiple headbutts, low blows, elbows, shoves and trips. There was little technique on display whatsoever and it seemed like Darchinyan had reverted back into his pure “destroyer mode.” Agbeko never seemed dented by Darchinyan, whose power just may not travel up to 118 pounds, but also acquits Agbeko as one tough son of a gun. There is no denying that Agbeko took Darchinyan out of his game, or perhaps that Darchinyan simply wasn’t “feeling it on the night. He went in at 127 pounds for the fight, with Agbeko at 121.
By the end of the night, Darchinyan was a bloody mess from punches and illegal shots.
On this day 11 July 1998 (Exactly 21 years ago) Ghana’s Azumah Nelson, widely considered the greatest African boxer of all time lost to Jesse James Leija in their fourth and final bout in the lightweight division, but Nelson realised his best days in boxing were over, and he retired.
Nelson had a record of 39 wins, 6 losses and 2 draws, with 28 knockout wins.
Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Referee: Laurence Cole
Judge: Gale Van Hoy 110-119
Judge: Gary Merritt 112-116
Judge: Harold Lederman 112-116
IBA Lightweight Title (Vacant title)
On this day 11 July 1982 (Exactly 37 years ago) Italy beat West Germany 3-1 in front of 90,000 spectators to win their third FIFA World Cup title at the Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain.
There were no goals in the first half – only half chances for either side. Then, in 57th minute, after a poor challenge from a clearly struggling Rummenigge, Italy took the free-kick quickly, shifting the ball out to the right flank and crossing quickly into a disorganised penalty area. Paolo Rossi capitalised on the confusion and lack of marking to nod home from close range to put Italy 1-0 up shortly before the hour mark.
Just over ten minutes later, it soon became clear only one team was going to be crowned World Cup winners as Italy scored a second with ease. Pulling the West German defence from side to side, the ball was eventually pulled back to Marco Tardelli who controlled the ball, shifted it onto his left foot and unfurled a rocket into far corner past a frozen Schumacher. 69 minutes gone and Italy were 2-0 to the good against a seemingly powerless West Germany side.
Rummenigge was replaced not long after as it became ever clearer he was unfit to play. Things then went from bad to worse for West Germany. Conti was allowed to run the length of the field unchallenged for Italy who then squared the ball across to Altobelli who jinked past the onrushing Schumacher and shot home to make it 3-0 in the 81st minute.
It had never been 3-0 in a World Cup final before. However, thankfully for West Germany, the score did not stay that way for long. Two minutes later, Paul Breitner volleyed past Zoff to give West Germany a consolation strike and meant Breitner became the first German to score in two different World Cups.
The final whistle blew. Italy were crowned World Cup winners for the third time with a 3-1 win. “Italy deserved to be win based on their second half performance. We couldn’t generate enough momentum going forward after the draining semi-final in Sevilla,” commented Jupp Derwall, Germany Manager.
On this day 11 July 2010 (Exactly 9 years ago) Andres Iniesta struck a dramatic winner late in extra time to give Spain FIFA World World Cup glory for the first time but condemned the Netherlands to their third defeat in a final.
Iniesta drilled his right-foot strike across goal – but the Dutch were incensed after referee Howard Webb had failed to award their side a corner moments earlier when a free-kick took a sizeable deflection off Cesc Fabregas.
However, Euro 2008 champions Spain, who conceded only two goals during the tournament, deserved their victory after gradually taking a grip on a tense and bad-tempered contest that produced 14 yellow cards with Johnny Heitinga sent off on 109 minutes after picking up a second yellow card.
The Dutch, who lost in the 1974 and 1978 finals, were bidding to become the first side since Brazil in 1970 to go through World Cup qualifying and the finals unbeaten.
They had a glorious chance to take the lead in the second half but Arjen Robben, comfortably his team’s most potent attacking weapon, could find no way past Spain captain Iker Casillas, who slumped to the floor and cried tears of joy after the final whistle.
Sergio Ramos was equally culpable of a glaring miss for Spain when he headed over and substitute Fabregas, as with Robben before him, also failed to convert a one-on-one chance.
But it was from a through ball by the influential Fabregas that midfielder Iniesta struck making Spain the first team to win a World Cup after losing their opening game of the tournament.
Spain also became the team to win the World Cup having scored the fewest number of goals – finding the net eight times in their seven matches. The previous mark was held by three teams, including England in 1966.
The dramatic finale at Soccer City was in stark contrast to a hugely underwhelming opening 45 minutes, which was a brutal disappointment after the spectacular opening ceremony and moving appearance by former president Nelson Mandela that had preceded it.
Spain dominated possession in the opening minutes and looked to have the measure of an uncertain Dutch backline. Ramos almost put them ahead after just four minutes but his thunderous header was brilliantly saved by Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Netherlands could not get a grip on the game but were helped by a spate of yellow cards from referee Webb that disturbed the rhythm of the match.
Webb booked five players in the opening 28 minutes, although several crude challenges left him with little option.
Dutch enforcer Mark van Bommel was booked after going through the back of Iniesta, while Nigel de Jong was lucky to escape red after planting his foot in the chest of Xabi Alonso.
Robben did force a decent save from Casillas with a low left-foot strike after cutting inside during stoppage time.
But the match had degenerated to the extent that Alonso opted to shoot with a free-kick on the wrong side of 40 yards instead of a seeking out a team-mate.
Spain defender Joan Capdevila wasted a good chance shortly after the restart, failing to make contact with a Carles Puyol flick-on.
The bookings continued after the break and the contest occasionally threatened to boil over as the tension appeared to affect the players.
But there were also a few moments of real quality, none more so than a sumptuous through ball from the largely anonymous Wesley Sneijder that played Robben clean through on goal.
Robben delayed his shot but, equally, Casillas stood his ground as long as possible and brilliantly saved with his legs.
It was a head-in-hands moment for Robben, but one quickly followed for Spain when a completely unmarked Ramos headed a corner over the crossbar.
Robben’s pace troubled the Spanish defence throughout and another burst from the Bayern Munich man unsettled Puyol, who appeared to impinge his opponent. Robben, just outside the penalty area, chose to stay on his feet and Casillas again denied him.
Spain had moved into the ascendancy as the match wore on, with Xavi increasingly influential.
Fabregas replaced Alonso in the 87th minute and quickly made an impression by collecting a superb Iniesta pass, but the Arsenal man could find no way beyond Stekelenberg, who saved brilliantly with his legs.
The complement was returned shortly afterwards but Iniesta opted not to strike from 18 yards and was eventually dispossessed by the excellent Gregory van der Wiel.
Heitinger became the fifth man to be sent off in a World Cup final when he pulled back Iniesta on the edge of the area, giving Webb little choice but to hand him a second caution, and that seemed to spur Spain on for a final effort.
Joris Mathijsen headed over for the Netherlands in what was their only good chance of the extra-time period before Iniesta struck his late and decisive blow.
On this day 11 July 2015 (Exactly 4 years ago) Serena Williams beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to win Wimbledon for the sixth time and complete the ‘Serena Slam’ as the holder of all four major titles.
The 33-year-old American won 6-4 6-4 on Centre Court to claim her 21st Grand Slam title and third of 2015.
Williams withstood a late fightback from 20th seed Muguruza, 21, to come through in one hour and 23 minutes.
Muguruza was playing in her first Grand Slam final and took a 4-2 lead, before giving the top seed a mighty scare by battling back from a set and 5-1 down with two breaks of serve.
She could not quite complete the comeback, however, with an error-strewn service game setting up Williams to clinch a landmark win when the Spaniard found the tramlines.
“There was definitely pressure towards the end,” said Williams, who also completed the ‘Serena Slam’ in 2003.
“Garbine started playing really well and I just had to think to stay out there and work really hard.
“I am having so much fun out on the court. Everyday is a pleasure to be playing and winning Wimbledon.”
BY: GEORGE ‘Alan Green ‘ MAHAMAH