Almost exactly a year ago the Black Stars played their first AFCON 2021 qualifier at the Cape Coast stadium against South Africa.
Despite the Stars’ 2-0 win, it wasn’t the result that got the headlines that day.
A sprint across the field by a pitch invader was the only thing most people talked about for days after the match.
Awal Suleman shot to fame, or perhaps infamy, depending on which side of the divide you belong on, when he made his way onto the pitch at the tail end of the match and led security officials on a hilarious chase inside the Cape Coast Stadium.
That incident, however, landed the 25-year-old in police trouble and left him facing a public disturbance charge.
Jumping from the stands, Awal, a former 400 metres champion at Apam SHS, sprinted onto the pitch and evaded a number of the security officers who were chasing him.
With one officer in hot pursuit, he showed a clean pair of heels, and left the officer literally on the floor.
It was later revealed that Mr. Suleman was a 400m runner at Apam Senior High School.
Luck eventually ran out for Awal, who was wearing a Chelsea jersey, as he ran out of steam, stumbled and was tackled to the ground.
While the players stood around bemused, the fans in the stadium cheered as the invader made his way around the pitch.
He was hauled off the pitch by the police and spent the night at the University of Cape Coast police station.
His predicament led to many people including Black Stars captain, Andre Ayew pleading for his release, with the hashtag #FreeAwal trending as a result.
Awal was eventually let out of jail on bail with the aid of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and was cheered as he made his way through the streets of Cape Coast.
Various reports following the incident had indicated that Awal had been fulfilling a dare, as he had promised to complete the crazy celebration should Ghana win the match against South Africa by two goals to nil.
Others indicated that Awal was an avid admirer of Thomas Partey and just wanted a photo with him.
His act appeared to pay off as he got to meet his hero, who gave him a signed jersey.
He also had to fork out GH¢2,400 for his five minutes of fame.
Watch Awal’s sprint below:
This pitch invader is such an idiot.. Guy just stressed our Ghana 🇬🇭 Police for nothing😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆
— Benaiah 💧🐐 (@kwamebenaiah) November 14, 2019
The Black Stars return to Cape Coast today when they face Sudan in their third match of the AFCON 2021 qualifiers.