Black Stars captain, Andre Ayew led by example on the pitch, and off it as well, to help the Black Stars secure a spot in the final round of qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup.
The Black Stars’ hopes of qualifying for the tournament in Qatar were up in the air after a 1-1 draw with Ethiopia last week.
The initial projections had suggested that Ghana needed a two-goal victory over South Africa to qualify after they were held by the Ethiopians.
With morale understandably low in the dressing room after the game, Andre gave an impassioned speech to his teammates with head coach, Milovan Rajevac and his assistants looking on.
Stating emphatically that the members of the national team were “not here to joke” an agitated-sounding Ayew asked anyone who didn’t believe the team could qualify to “go home” when they returned to Ghana.
“We’re not here to joke. And anyone who is not ready and doesn’t believe that we can win 2-0, when we get to Ghana, you can go home. Clearly, because we’re going to the World Cup,” Andre Ayew said.
Insisting that the Stars would qualify for the tournament despite the odds against them, he ended by telling his charges to relax.
“So if someone jokes, if you know you don’t have the heart; when we land in Ghana and you say you’re going to listen to what Ghanaians are going to say, take your things and go home. We’re going to win and we’ll qualify. So relax, calm down.”
It was fitting then that Andre Ayew scored the deciding penalty against South Africa to help the Black Stars finish top of the group.