On this 17 May 2008 (Exactly 11 years ago) Sulley Muntari became the second Ghanaian to win the English FA cup as Nwankwo Kanu’s goal was good enough to give Portsmouth a 1-0 win in the FA Cup final against Cardiff City at Wembley.
Kanu, who scored Pompey’s semi-final winner against West Brom, struck eight minutes before half-time following a miss that threatened to go down in Wembley folklore.
The Nigerian’s goal meant the south coast club won the FA Cup for only the second time in their history following their last appearance in a major Wembley final back in 1939.
It also gave Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp his first piece of significant silverware as either player or manager.
The decisive moment of the match came in the 37th minute.
France international midfielder Lassana Diarra, who repeatedly proved adept at bringing the ball out of defence, released John Utaka down the right.
Kanu’s fellow Nigeria forward teased Cardiff full-back Tony Capaldi before crossing. Cardiff goalkeeper Peter Enckelman let the ball slip from his grasp when he should have clung on and Kanu scored from barely a yard out.
It was Kanu’s first goal since he scored the winner in the 1-0 semi-final win over West Brom, one of his former clubs, and Pompey’s first in four matches after a disappointing end to their league season.
And it came as an immense relief to both the striker and his team-mates, without cup-tied goalscorer Jermain Defoe, after an agonising miss.
Played in by Sulley Muntari in the 22nd minute, Kanu slipped the ball past Enckleman but, albeit from a slightly tight angle, his shot hit the left post with the goal unguarded.
At that moment Pompey fans could have been forgiven for thinking their team’s hopes of winning a first major trophy since being crowned champions of England 58 years earlier was about to pass them by.
And on the stroke of half-time Cardiff, the only non-English side to win the FA Cup back in 1927, almost equalised.
Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Utaka (Nugent 69), Pedro Mendes (Diop 78), Diarra, Muntari, Kranjcar, Kanu (Baros 87).
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Pamarot.
Booked: Hreidarsson, Kranjcar, Diarra.
Goals: Kanu 37.
Cardiff: Enckelman, McNaughton, Johnson, Loovens, Capaldi, Ledley, Rae (Sinclair 86), McPhail, Whittingham (Ramsey 61), Parry, Hasselbaink (Thompson 70).
Subs Not Used: Oakes, Purse.
Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).
On this day 17 May 2017 (Exactly 2 years ago) Ghana made it two straight wins with a 5-0 crushing of hosts Gabon at the African U17 Championship to qualify for the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup in India.
Captain Eric Ayiah registered his second brace of the competition after opening the scoring from the spot in the 33rd minute.
Winger Emmanuel Toku also scored twice in the 34th and 66th minutes respectively.
Mandela Academy’s Patmos Arhin came off the bench to score the fifth goal on 76 minutes.
On this day 17 May 2015 (Exactly 4 years ago) FC Barcelona were crowned champions of La Liga after beating Atletico Madrid 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon.
Diego Simeone’s side claimed the title with a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou on the final day of previous season, but Lionel Messi’s second-half goal saw Barca gain revenge this time around by winning the Primera Division at the Calderon.
Luis Enrique’s men took a four-point lead over fierce rivals Real Madrid into the 37th round of matches and their victory in the capital won them the La Liga with one game to spare.
On this day 17 May 2006 (Exactly 13 years) Barcelona scored twice in the last 14 minutes to beat 10-man Arsenal in the Champions League final at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Paris, France.
Sol Campbell’s thumping header gave Arsenal a 37th minute lead – after goalkeeper Jens Lehmann had been sent off for bringing down Samuel Eto’o.
Thierry Henry missed a crucial chance to give Arsenal a two-goal lead before Eto’o fired home with 14 minutes left.
Henrik Larsson then set up fellow substitute Juliano Belletti four minutes later to sink the Gunners.
Barcelona: Valdes, Oleguer (Belletti 71), Marquez, Puyol, Van Bronckhorst, Deco, Edmilson (Iniesta 45), Van Bommel (Larsson 61), Giuly, Eto’o, Ronaldinho.
Subs Not Used: Jorquera, Motta, Xavi, Sylvinho.
Booked: Oleguer, Larsson.
Goals: Eto’o 76, Belletti 80.
Arsenal: Lehmann, Eboue, Toure, Campbell, Cole, Pires (Almunia 20), Silva, Fabregas (Flamini 74), Hleb (Reyes 85), Ljungberg, Henry.
Subs Not Used: Bergkamp, Van Persie, Senderos, Clichy.
Sent Off: Lehmann (18).
Booked: Eboue, Henry.
Goals: Campbell 37.
Attendance : 79,500
Referee : Terje Hauge (Norway).
On this day 17 May 1974 (Exactly 45 years ago) Bayern Munich beat Atletico Madrid 4-0 at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels to claim their first European Champion Clubs’ Cup (now Champions League ).
Goals in extra time from Luis Aragonés and Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck cancelled each other out on 15 May 1974, so a replay took place two days later (17 May 1974). Bayern won the replay convincingly, with two goals each from Uli Hoeness and Gerd Müller, giving the German side a 4–0 victory.This is the only European Cup/Champions League final to have been replayed.
On this day 17 May 2003 (Exactly 16 years) Robert Pires eased Arsenal’s agony at missing out on the Premiership with an FA Cup final winner against Southampton at the Millennium Stadium.
Pires – who missed Arsenal’s triumph against Chelsea in previous year’s final because of injury – was the match-winner as Arsene Wenger’s side retained the trophy.
The France midfield man scored after 38 minutes to end the challenge of underdogs Southampton and gave Arsenal a deserved victory under Cardiff’s closed roof.
On this day 17 May 2014 (Exactly 5 years ago) Aaron Ramsey’s extra-time winner ensured Arsenal ended their nine-year wait for a trophy as they came from two goals behind to beat Hull City in a dramatic FA Cup final at Wembley.
The Gunners started as firm favourites but were stunned as goals from James Chester and Curtis Davies gave Hull a flying start inside the first eight minutes.
Santi Cazorla’s superb free-kick put Arsenal back in contention before half-time and Laurent Koscielny scrambled in the equaliser after 71 minutes.
And as Arsenal looked the stronger, superior team in extra time, Ramsey, whose absence through injury hit them so hard in the latter part of the season, completed the comeback with an instinctive strike with 11 minutes of the extra period left.
BY: GEORGE ‘Alan Green’ MAHAMAH