Thursday, January 24, 2013

Many waited for the Kidiaba bum dance in vain

The scorer of the penalty that saw Ghana beat Mali 1-0 will miss the next match for celebrating that goal. Mubarak Wakaso had received a yellow card in the previous match for descent. Two articles ago, I questioned the wisdom, or lack of, punishing those overcame by the emotions of achieving the ultimate aim of the game.

Let us not get into the merits and demerits of pulling off the shirt in celebrating the goals. In his case, he might have drawn out a detailed plan of what he will do after the kick. Many players have not much luxury to stop the ball, scratch their heads and ponder what they will do after beating five defenders and scoring the winning goal. I wish football was like that.

Anyway, he scored and will miss the next game for being overjoyed. Many others infringing on the laws of the game, endangering the lives and health of others will go on unpunished and enjoyed an extra match of the 2013 Afcon.

Of that less enticing affair, that is all one can say. Did I write something about decision making at Afcon 2013? Niger saved the DRC from much trouble by poor judgement and decisions. It is their alarming proportions and consistency that I am compelled to repeat myself.

Niger could have been 3-0 up by the 28th minute, having exposed the backside of DR Congo and failing in executing the finish or final pass. Congo had their moments but they were not clear-cut opportunities and they were far in between.

The defensive behaviour of Niger was impressive as they tracked down and chased every ball, winning essential possession nearer the opposition goal often. They failed to pay themselves for the efforts. They had commitment and fighting spirit to win back possession.

Penetration into the final third was however questionable.DRC were guilty of the same though they could not put away gilt edged chances of their won in the second half. The match was value for money. The transitions from defence to attack and reverse were quick and enterprising, the ball quickly being transferred into the attacking thirds of both teams and from right channel to the left.

With better precision in front of goal, the match would have qualified as a thriller. The technical and tactical aspect of detail was the usual big concern as many waited for that Kidiaba bum dance celebration. The 0-0 result was the fairest result under the circumstances, Niger earning their first ever Afcon point.