On this 8 February 1950 ( Exactly 69 years ago) Roy “The Black Flash” Ankrah fought for the first time in the United Kingdom, beat George Lamont of the United Kingdom at the Ice Rink, Paisley, Scotland, United Kingdom.
Ankrah, one of Ghana’s foremost boxers, moved Ghanian boxing into a wider arena, when he joined the British Army and was trained by British boxing trainers.
On his return to Ghana, he taught what he had learned in the army to the Bukom Community.
In April, 1951, Ankrah won the British Empire featherweight title after beating Ronnie Clayton at the Earls Court Empress Hall, Kensington, London.
At his peak, Ankrah won the Gold Coast flyweight title, Gold Coast bantamweight title, Gold Coast featherweight title, Gold Coast lightweight title, Gold Coast welterweight title, and British Empire super featherweight title
On this day 8 February 1959 (Exactly 61 years ago) Floyd “Klutei” Robertson KOs compatriot Skipping Gilbert for the Ghanaian featherweight title in Accra .
Robertson also won the West African Featherweight Title, and Commonwealth super featherweight title later in his career.
On this day 8 Feb 2012 (Exactly 7 years ago) Emmanuel Mayuka came off the bench to score a late goal as Zambia shocked Ghana to earn a place in the 28th Africa Cup of Nations final.
The substitute collected a pass and steered a shot into the bottom corner 12 minutes from the end after Asamoah Gyan missed a first-half penalty.
Gyan’s effort was saved when Davies Nkausu fouled Kwadwo Asamoah.
Derek Boateng was sent off late on for Ghana before Prince Tagoe had a goal-bound shot blocked.
Despite the Black Stars’ dominance and the penalty miss, Zambia’s Chris Katongo had another great opportunity in the first half but fired off-target.
This time it was Kennedy Mweene who saved, as the striker shot low to the keeper’s left after Asamoah was caught by Nkausu following Samuel Inkoom’s cross.
Ghana, who were without the injured Emmanuel Agyemang Badu dominated possession in the first period with brothers Andre and Jordan Ayew showing some neat link-up play as they strove to get in behind the Zambian defence.
But Herve Renard’s team stood firm, and after Nathan Sinkala tested goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, they could have taken the lead on the break.
Rainford Kalaba cleverly received the ball and slipped in Katongo, but he shot wide from 12 yards with only Kwarasey to beat.
Jordan Ayew missed a sitter when his brother found him before the break and shot from range early in the second half, yet for all their persistence and further efforts by Gyan, Ghana could not pierce the Zambian defence.
With the game in a lull it was a surprise, then, that Gyan was replaced with 15 minutes left, especially as Zambia struck with the second half’s only major chance.
And when it finally came it was a goal worthy of winning the match.
Half-time substitute Mayuka was fed by Isaac Chansa, before he held off a Ghanaian challenge and on the half turn fired into the bottom corner and in-off the post.
The Ghana riposte was put off course when Derek Boateng received his second yellow card to reduce the 1982
champions to 10 men.
And although Tagoe was denied in the closing stages, the four-times champions were made to rue another missed opportunity to claim silverware.
Zambia Line-up : Kennedy MWEENE, Joseph MUSONDA, Francis KASONDE, (Chisamba LUNGU 66), Hichani HIMONDE, Stophira SUNZU, Davies NKAUSU, Isaac CHANSA, Rainford KALABA, Nathan SINKALA, Christopher KATONGO[c], James CHAMANGA [Emmanuel MAYUKA 45].
Coach: Hervé RENARD.
Ghana Line-up : Adam KWARASEY, John MENSAH[c] [Isaac VORSAH 72], John BOYE, Lee ADDY, Samuel INKOOM, Derek BOATENG, Anthony ANNAN, André AYEW [Sulley MUNTARI 87], Kwadwo Asamoah, Asamoah GYAN [Prince TAGOE 74], Jordan AYEW.
Coach: Goran STEVANOVIC.
Referee: Mohamed BENOUZA [ALGERIA].
On this day 8 Feb 2015 (Exactly 4 years ago) Ivory Coast became the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations champions after beating Ghana 9-8 in penalties following a 0-0 draw after extra time in the Equatorial Guinea city of Bata.
Goalkeeper Boubacar Barry converted the decisive spot kick to deliver the trophy for a country who had been heavily fancied for the previous five tournaments but flopped in all of them.
It was a second title for Ivory Coast whose only previous success came when they also beat Ghana in a similar post-match marathon shootout 11-10 in Dakar in 1992
A total of 22 kicks were needed to settle the 2015 title with the Ivorians missing their first two attempts.
It came down to the keepers to settle matters after all the outfield players had taken a penalty each with the score at 8-8.
Barry, who was only playing because of injury to Sylvain Gbohouo, saved from Ghana goalkeeper Razak Brimah and then, after requiring treatment for an injury, got up to slot home the decisive spot kick.
Victory for the Ivorians also handed Frenchman Herve Renard the distinction of becoming the first coach to win the Nations Cup with different countries after success with Zambia in 2012, when they edged the Ivorians in a shootout.
“We had a team with the right fighting spirit and we rode our luck a little,” said Renard.
An exhausted Yaya Toure looked more relieved than elated, saying: “I just want to go home and celebrate with my family and friends. It’s taken a long time for us to get here.”
Two hours of action delivered few chances as the tired-looking teams fought out an error-strewn midfield battle, although Ghana’s Christian Atsu came close to scoring with a snapshot that hit the post after 26 minutes.
Yaya Toure had the game’s first effort on goal after 10 minutes but his free kick went straight into Brimah’s arms. Gervinho fed Max Gradel with a clear chance on the right of the attack soon after but he blasted a hurried shot wide.
Ghana’s first effort was inches away from a goal as Andre Ayew weaved across the penalty box before feeding Atsu, whose first time shot hit the upright before bouncing back into play.
An Ivorian mistake gave Ghana the first chance of the second half with Atsu speeding away before passing inside to Asamoah Gyan, who was off target with his effort.
Gyan had been doubtful for the final with a pelvic injury but passed a late fitness test.
Mubarak Wakaso blasted over the top with a strong effort from well outside the penalty area midway through the second half as the midfield stranglehold kept chances to a minimum.
However, Atsu’s strong running down the right tested the Ivorian defence again when he provided Gyan without another chance after 72 minutes but it was blocked.
As the game approached 90 minutes a scramble in the Ghana penalty area, after Brimah could only parry the ball, gave Ivorian substitute Seydou Doumbia a half-chance but he too was thwarted by a quick defensive recovery.
Doumbia missed another half-chance at the start of the second half of extra time when striker Gervinho found a second wind and the game had to go to penalties to separate the teams.
Ghana’s agonising shootout defeat means they are still waiting for their first Nations Cup success since 1982.
“But I think we can be very proud of what we did at this tournament with you guys giving us no chance,” Ghana coach Avram Grant told reporters. “We have a team for the future here.”
Morocco were stripped of the tournament having asked for a postponement amid concerns over the spread of the Ebola virus and were banned from the next two African Nations Cups.
By George ‘Alan Green’ Mahama