Former Black Stars and Blackpool goalkeeper Richard Kingson has opened up on representing Ghana in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) final in 2010.
The story of Ghana’s journey to 2010 AFCON final was characterized by a strong sense of serendipity. The Black Stars went into the tournament without numerous key men, the team was filled with youngsters.
In spite of that, Ghana under the tutelage of Serbian manager Milovan Rajevac defied all odds and made it to the final for the first time since 1992, but lost to then holders Egypt by 1-0.
Speaking in an interview with Joy FM and monitored by footballghana.com, Richard Kingson revealed that although their side was filled with young players, they knew the will play in the finals of the tournament.
“Before the tournament [Angola 2010 AFCON], some Ghanaians discouraged the team before we played,” he told Joy FM.
“How many Ghanaians believed that the squad will get to the finals? We promised ourselves that we will get to the finals. We knew we will get to the finals.
“When we got there [AFCON 2010], there was a crash between Togolese and some military men around the bush. We were living in the same camp so we were afraid but by the grace of God we encouraged ourselves and the Togolese were withdrawn from the tournament so we had to play Ivory Coast. We went to the stadium to watch Ivory Coast v Burkina Faso.
He continued, “There was a lot of tension in the match and we had young players like Dede Ayew, Agyemang Badu, Kwadwo Asamoah, Opoku Agyemang, Samuel Inkoom. After we went for training, I called the young players and asked them if they watched the game. I told them that this tournament is not for U-17 or U-20 or U-23 but it is for the senior side. I advised them to show strength.
“We played against Ivory Coast and lost our opening game. Everyone was down after the loss but I encouraged them to pray in a meeting. We played against Burkina Faso and then Angola in the quarter-finals. That was when I had the injury [against Angola], I had a muscle tear which the doctor told me that I cannot continue with the tournament.
“The tear was long and there was blood flowing. After the quarter-finals, I did not even train. I was eating and sleeping. I have to thank the young ones because they came to me and motivated me. I was asked in the press conference if I can continue and I said yes and that I will put my career on it.
“I decided to play against Nigeria in the semis with the mindset that even if my career ends after the match and we get to the finals, let it be so.”
The former Wigan Atletic and Blackpool goalkeeper also revealed why Ghana lost to Egypt in the finals.
“During the final against Egypt, I saw a particular teammate covered in smoke and a voice said to me that this player should be substituted.
“On the Egyptian bench, I saw their coach shuffling some kind of cards and the voice told me again to tell the coach to substitute one of our teammates. So the third time, I went to the coach to tell him to substitute this player. After I left and went to the post, Egypt made a change and the guy who came in, his first touch was a goal.
Richard Kingson also opened up on a dream he had prior to the final game against Egypt.
“Before the final game [In 2010], I had a dream. The AFCON trophy was on the table and I was standing at one side and the Egyptian captain was standing at another side with someone like a referee.
“He said ‘one of you should take the cup’ and the Egyptian captain took it. In reality, I lost the toss for the first time in the final and we lost the final.”
Richard Kingson featured in 90 games for the Black Stars, he represented Ghana at multiple tournaments, including the World Cup in 2006 and 2010.