Razak: The goal against Tunisia in 1978 was my best

Author: George Ernest Asare
Abdul Karim Razak

Ghana’s 1978 African Footballer of the Year, Abdul Karim Razak, aka ‘Golden Boy’, has described his goal against Tunisia in the semi-finals of the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Ghana as the best in his career.

 “I have played so many memorable matches for club and country and scored a number of beautiful goals during my career with Cornerstone, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, New York Cosmos, Arab Contractors of Egypt and the Black Stars, but the goal I scored against Tunisia in the semi-finals to propel Ghana to play Uganda in the grand final of the 1978 Africa Cup of Nations was the most outstanding,” Razak told Graphic Sports Online in an exclusive interview.

 “My goal against Tunisia, which was described by sports commentators and writers as the ‘Golden Goal’ of the tournament, was the best because of the tension in that particular match and the manner in which it was scored. I still remember it as if it was only yesterday,” Razak beamed with smiles as he described that memorable goal.

 Razak, who was adjudged the 1978 Africa Footballer of the Year, noted that “the match against Tunisia, who were on their way to the World Cup, was very tough but we did everything as a team to win, but in football when you do everything as a team and you fail to get the required result, then the onus rests on individuals to make a difference, which is exactly what happened”.

The Golden Boy, who made 70 caps for Ghana with 25 goals, said in the course of the match, one of Ghana’s key defenders, Isaac Acquaye, who was good in floating long balls, spotted him (Razak) dashing forward and so floated the ball “and I controlled it in mid-air, beat my markers before lobbing it past goalkeeper Sadok Sassi Attouga who had come out of his post”.

“When I controlled the ball, I made it bounce twice on the field, and when I spotted Attouga coming out, I placed it coolly behind him to score the only goal that turned out to be the match winner to qualify Ghana to meet Uganda in the grand finale,” he recalled with nostalgia.

“Since then, I never met Attouga again until recently when we met with Roger Milla at a CAF Awards of Merit event and took a photograph together.

According to Razak, Kotoko’s 5-1 victory over Zamalek at the quarter-finals of the Africa Club Championship at the Kumasi Stadium on May 30, 1987 was a match which still rang loud bells in his memory.

“After losing 0-2 to Zamalek in Egypt and conceding an early goal in Kumasi in the second leg, we conjured magic to beat them 5-1 to qualify for the next stage of the tournament.

“Zamalek were the defending champions at that time and my role in the match was outstanding,“ he noted.