Ghana Black Stars will persevere in Brazil: president

By Alex Osei-Boateng

ACCRA, June 17 (Xinhua) -- President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday encouraged Ghanaians to be more supportive and optimistic that the Black Stars will come back strongly despite the "bleak" beginning.

The fastest goal so far and a late killer in the final minutes awarded the United States a 2-1 win over their long-time rivals Ghana in a thrilling Brazil World Cup Group G match on Monday.

In a statement a day after the defeat, President Mahama said though Ghana might have lost its first match, it was not defeated but rather determined.

"Ghana, as I have stated many times, is not a country that can easily be counted out. We always come back stronger, braver, and more victorious. Our Black Stars will persevere. True to their name, they will continue to shine their light on Ghana, on all of Africa and, indeed, on the world," he said.

"Our flag has been raised high in Brazil for the world to see and that Black Star, the lodestar that shines as a guiding light on our flag, will not falter," said Mahama.

He said, as president, he encouraged all Ghanaians to be even more supportive, and to be even more optimistic, adding that the Black Stars had already made history for Ghana and Africa and, by the grace of God, would continue to do so.

"Let us not be discouraged by this supposed defeat," he said.

"Let us, rather, focus on the strength of the will and talent displayed during this game. Let us throw the full weight of our support behind our national team. Let us keep facing forward," he added.

Ghana will play its second match against Germany on Saturday before coming up against Portugal in the last Group G match.