‘Black Stars players must play with love for Ghana’

Soccer News of Thursday, 29 January 2015

Source: footy-ghana.com

Opoku Nti Kotoko

A member of Ghana’s 1982 African Nations Cup winning squad, Samuel Opoku Nti says that the present members of the Black Stars would have to play with love for the country in order to succeed.

He told footy-ghana.com that the pride of wearing a national side should spur Ghana to victory at the ongoing 2015 African Nations Cup.

“All the players need to do is to play with love for Ghana and they will succeed. There is so much pride from wearing the national shirt and if the players have that pride, with the way they have played so far they can go all the way.”

Opoku Nti wrote his name into national folklore after scoring a crucial equalizer as Ghana drew 2-2 with Libya in the opening game of the 1982 AFCON and he tells footy-ghana.com how he scored what he describes as his greatest ever goal.

“We had less than a minute left and we were down 2-1 to Libya. Our left back, Kwame Sampson had a throw and at the time, I was being marked. I signaled to Kwame to throw the ball beyond myself and the defender. Kwame did so and the ball hit the turf and bounced up. I then volleyed the ball and before the goalkeeper could react, the ball was in the net. That was perhaps my greatest goal.”

Opoku Nti, who now serves as the acting General Manager for Asante Kotoko, also told footy-ghana.com that it was the love for the country, coupled with constant messages sent the team by the then head of state, Flt. Lt. J.J. Rawlings, that spurred the team on to win the trophy in Libya; the last time Ghana won an AFCON trophy.

“We all wanted to do something for our country and that is why we fought so hard to win the trophy. Also, Our head of state at the time, Mr. Rawlings sent us telegrams containing messages of support before every match we played, and that inspired us in every game we played.”