Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Intentions to Party- Ghana 0 Nigeria 0

I went to the England-Ghana friendly in March and it was one of the most entertaining football crowds I've ever been part of.  The Ghanian supporters celebrated corners, free kicks, passes and even throw-ins with ever increasing enthusiasm.  Although I was supporting England I very much hoped Ghana would score just to experience their goal reaction and it lived up to all expectations when they equalised in the closing minutes.

So I wasn't going to miss the chance to experience that kind of atmosphere at the ground I know and love the most.  Okay so the crowd was much smaller, but the Ghana fans came with exactly the same intentions to party and the Nigerian fans had similar ideas.  The result was a unique atmosphere at the Vic, the likes of which the stewards or police weren't sure what to do with.  Luckily they took the sensible option of just letting everyone get on with having a good time and made no effort to stop the various bands, drums, trumpets and vuvuzuelas that had been brought into the ground.

Richard and Tim on Radio Hornet sensibly didn't try to compete much with the noise.  It was good to hear them though and they were one of the few notes of familiarity in an otherwise pretty bizarre evening.  Even the programme wasn't produced by the club.  It was two thirds full of unusual adverts and contained more typos and mistakes than the very blog you're reading.  Best of all were at least three different spellings of John Pantsil's name.  I know there are two official ways of spelling it, but at least use one consistently rather than trying both out and then making up a third.

The players individually all displayed a lot more quality than our hallowed pitch has seen of late but collectively the teams didn't come up with much of a spectacle.  It was a shame but perfectly understandable as they'd been involved in the final African Cup of Nations qualifiers at the weekend.  Nigeria got knocked out so must have been demoralised, whilst Ghana had got through, but even so must have thought this was a game they could've done without.  So 0-0 was predictable and watched in isolation this was probably a pretty boring game.  But the fans more than made up for it.