March 19, 1982: Black Stars become first-time 4 time champions of AFCON

On March 19, 1892, the Black Stars defied all odds to beat Libya, the host nation 7-6 on penalty shootout to win the 1982 Africa Cup of Nations trophy in front of their intimidating home fans.

Ghana shot into the lead in the 35th minute through George Alhassan, the oldest player of the Black Stars squad. The Libyans sensing defeat, threw everything upfront and succeeded in finding the equalizer in the 70 minute through Beshari.

The rest of regulation time produced no more goals after 120 minutes ushering in the first ever tie breaking exercise in a final to be decided on penalties.  In the shootout, Sampson Lamptey, George Alhassan, Isaac Paha, Abbrey and Asase scored, in the 1st round, while in the 2nd round of the shootout goalkeeper, Owusu Mensah saw his penalty saved by the Libyan goalie, but he also saved a 6th penalty kick by the Libyans. Owusu Mensah, again saved the Libyans 7th penalty to help Ghana win its 4th AFCON.

Ironically Owusu Mensah went to the tourney as Ghana’s third goalie, but turned out the hero of the tournament. George Alhassan who was the oldest player in the Stars team won the golden boot and hence most reporters termed the tournament “George’s African Cup” 

Ghana on their way to their fourth title, drew 2-2 with the host nation, Libya who were making their debut in the competition, before tying 0-0 against Cameroon and registered a 1-0 win over Tunisia to advance from the group stage.

In the semifinal, Ghana overcame a two goal deficit to beat Algeria by 3-2 in extra time through two goals from George Alhassan (64 and 103) and a goal from Opoku Nti (90).