Ghanaâ€™s Black Stars, who qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa were up and doing again yesterday but went down 4-3 to fellow finalists Japan. Nigeria Green Eagles would have gone on holidays if they were in Ghanaâ€™s shoes.
Coach Amodu Shuaibu had shunned a FIFA free day to play friendlies, saying he preferred his players to gain first team shirts in their clubs. OthersÂ played friendlies and blended as a team. The evidence showed against Tunisia.
Milovan Rajevacâ€™s side took a 2-0 lead thanks to a brace from striker Asamoah Gyan.
A strike from Dutch-based star Matthew Amoah then gave Ghana a 3-1 lead â€” but Japan fought back with three goals in 13 minutes to win the game.
The game was played in Utrecht in the Netherlands, with a morning kick-off to accommodate Japanese television.
It came just a few days after Ghana secured their place in South Africa 2010, with victory over Sudan in Accra on Sunday.
The Black Stars have two remaining qualifying games, against Benin and Mali, but cannot be caught at the top of Group D.