African Games: Hippos Settle For Silver After ‘Afriyie Curse’

Ghana’s U-20 Team (Black Satellites) are the latest Champions of the African Games after defeating the Uganda Hippos 1-0 at the University of Ghana, Accra on Friday.

The Ghanaian soccer side, so associated with the ‘Afriyie’ spirit of winning and good luck against Uganda in finals was evident again, as the West African side won it very late, courtesy of Jerry Afriyie’s lone strike in stoppage time.

The Uganda U-20 team, coached by Morley Byekwaso had put up a spirited performance in the final, like they did throughout the tournament, but couldn’t contain the pressure to the last whistle against a strong Ghana U-20 side that was playing infront of home fans.

The Black Satellites claimed the gold, as the Hippos will return to Uganda thinking they could’ve done better than a second place finish.

Meanwhile, Congo went back home empty handed after Senegal beat them 2-0 in the third place playoff to take home bronze.

Despite the late heartbreak in Ghana, the Hippos’ silver medal for Uganda still counts as the highest-ever finish for the East African nation in the history of the African Games, beating the previous record of finishing fourth in 1999, South Africa.

46 Years Apart, Ghana’s ‘Dominant Afriyie Spirit’ Continues To Haunt Uganda

Over so many years apart, and the incidents in 1978 and 2021, like it has happened again in 2024 all seem like a reproduction of a movie script; An underrated Ugandan team beats all odds to appear on the final to face the same West African side (Ghana).

Three meetings in three major continental finals, and Uganda has lost all to Ghana, coincidentally at the hands of a random artistic player surnamed Afriyie!

In 1987, Opoku Afriyie ‘Bayie’ scored a brace for Ghana as the Black Stars beat Uganda 2-0 in the final. It was Uganda’s first time to play at a major tournament final and the Cranes dream of winning was shattered by Afriyie.

Over 40 years after, Uganda and Ghana repeated the history in 2021, as the Hippos faced the Black Satellites in the AFCON U20 final in Mauritania, Uganda lost by two goals to Ghana, both scored by Daniel Afriyie Barnie.

Tales from Ghana say the name Afriyie is of ancient African origin associated with success or good luck.

In the Friday final, Ghana had another forward named Afriyie (Jerry) lining up against the Uganda Hippos, and he just exhibited another piece of brilliance in a tournament he had already done so well in.

Ghana’s ‘ancient Afriyie spirit’ rose up once again through the electric forward, when it mattered most for Ghana to strike Uganda, for the third time in three meetings!

Afriyie (Jerry) contributed four important goals for the Black Satellites, scoring three of Ghana’s six goals at the tournament.

He scored two in the group stages, made a very brilliant assist in the semifinal as Ghana scored very late to dump Senegal out, and scored against Uganda in the final.



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