Head coach of Ghana’s Black Meteors, Ibrahim Tanko, rubbished claims that the nation is perhaps destined not to be successful in penalty shootouts in major football competitions but he admits that things will have to improve on that front.
He was reacting to Ghana’s 3-2 penalty shootout loss to Cote d’Ivoire in Tuesday’s semi-finals of the U-23 AFCON in Egypt.
The match ended 2-2 after extra time but the Meteors missed three of their five kicks to lose to the Ivorians and make it Ghana’s 3rd loss on penalties to their neighbours in the history of African football after 1992 and 2015.
Speaking to the media after the match, Tanko was quick to shoot down assertions that Ghana’s failure to win shootouts especially against the Ivorians were more than technical issues.
“Ghana’s losses to Cote d’Ivoire has happened to three different generations and I think that shootouts are a matter of concentration.
Today, my players did not have that in them. I cannot say that there is a curse on Ghana when it comes to penalty shootouts but I believe that we have to do better next time.”
The shootout defeat will hurt Tanko after he experienced the same result with the Black Stars in the 2019 AFCON earlier this year when Ghana lost 4-2 to Tunisia on spot kicks in the round of 16.