On this day 8 March 2009 (Exactly 10 years ago ) The DR Congo beat Ghana 2-0 to win the inaugural African Nations Championship in Abidjan.
The final – a repeat of their group B encounter – was settled by second-half goals from Dioko Kaluyituka and Bedi Mbenza.
On a pitch made slippery by pre-match rain, Kaluyituka gave the Congolese the lead after 46 minutes when his speculative header slipped past Ghana goalkeeper Philemon Maccarthy.
Mbenza got the second goal 15 minutes from time when he controlled a cross from the left on his chest and gave Maccarthy no chance with a right-foot shot from inside the box.
It was the first triumph for the Congolese in a continental competition since they defeated Zambia 2-0 in a replay of the 1974 Nations Cup final in Cairo.
In the 1968 African Cup of Nations Championship hosted by Ethiopia, Ghana beat DR Congo at the group stages in Asmara by 3: 1 but when the two teams met in the finals in Addis Ababa, DR Congo beat Ghana 1:0 to lift the cup.
Incidentally, the Leopards, had suffered a 0-3 loss at the hands of their West African counterparts in their earlier meeting at the group stage played at Bouake.
DR Congo Line-up : Robert Kidiaba, Mihayo Kazembe, Kasongo Ngandu, Tresor Mputu, Bedi Mbenza, Mabele Bawada, Salakiaku Matondo (Mvete Luyeye), Lofo Serge, Joel Kimwaki, Gladys Bokese, Kaluyitukadioko Alain
Coach : Santos Muntubile
Ghana Line-up: Philemon McCarthy, Samuel Nkoom, Daniel Yeboah, Ofosu Appiah, Jordan Opoku (Stephen Manu) Ibrahim Ayew, Yaw Antwi (Francis Coffie) Charles Taylor (Kwadwo Poku), Edmund Owusu -Ansah, Harrison Afful, Godwin Bonsu
Coach : Milovan Rajevac
Referee :Doue Noumandiez -IVC
On this day 8 March 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago) Ghana’s Black Queens cruised to their sixth African Women
Championship appearance at the expense of Cote d’Ivoire with a 3-0 victory in Accra .
The Queens, who needed only a goalless draw to book qualification to the biennial party scored twice and once respectively in each half to win the game 4-1 on aggregate.
Ghana grabbed the first goal through Ama Saabi who proved the most mobile and improved player throughout the game. Saabi, who had earlier won a corner from overlapping, connected home skipper Adjoa Bayor’s kick with a fine drive just outside the penalty box with 23 minutes of play.
The team began gelling after the goal and appeared near to score another goal as the game progressed.
They were to score again seven minutes later through Anita Amankwaah who had been recalled from suspension for this game. Amankwaah profited from a defensive blunder against the run of play in a move orchestrated by Gloria Oforiwaa to put the host on the ascendancy.
With qualification within reach, Ghana seemed settled for the first time and carried the game to the Ivorians whose amazing physic and skill portrayed them as a team to watch in the not too distant future. Both teams appeared charged from recess but it was the Queens, rated second best in Africa who struck again through creative midfielder Florence Okoe only five minutes into the half.
Advancing Okoe took a one-time shot outside the penalty area after a Queens’ invasion that drew Bayor, Amankwah and Diana Ankomah into the frail.
The tempo of the game fell after the goal with neither team threatening to make a difference in the score line.
On this day 8 March1986 (Exactly 33 years ago) Nana Yaw Konadu TKOs compatriot Joe Power at the Sunyani Coronation Park; retained his West African Boxing Union flyweight title.
On this day 8 March 1971 (Exactly 48 years ago) Joe Frazier ended Muhammad Ali’s 31-fight winning streak at Madison Square Garden, NYC; retains his heavyweight boxing title by unanimous points decision over 15 rounds in “Fight of the Century”.
By George ‘Alan Green’ Mahamah