It’s doubtful that even the most optimistic of punters would have ventured to place a prop wager at an online sports betting site on the outcome of Sunday’s GPL match between the Elmina Sharks and the Ebusua Dwarfs.
No, it wasn’t because the result was a 2-2 draw. Drawn matches happen all the time at all levels of soccer. It was how the Dwarfs fashioned the sharing of the points that was the astonishing piece of the puzzle.
Down 2-1 and with the referee checking his watch, indicating that time would soon be up, Ebusua was awarded a free kick just outside the Elmina penalty area. Sending all 10 outfield players forward, Dwarfs goalkeeper Razak Issah ran all the way up the pitch from his usual perch in front of the posts to take the free kick.
The keeper stepped up and slotted a perfect free kick, curling the ball past the wall and just inside the far post for the equalizer in the 86th minute.
An excited Issah raced across the field to celebrate his unique achievement in front of the Ebusua supporters.
Issah is only the second goalkeeper from Ghana and just the 15th African ’keeper to slot home a goal during a match.
Countryman Richard Kingson preceded him in tallying. Like Issah, it was a match-tying strike. Arguably, it was a much bigger moment in Ghanian soccer history.
Trailing Tanzania 1-0 in a 2008 international, seven minutes from time Ghana was awarded a free kick just outside the Tanzanian area. Kingson came up to help. He took up a position in the Taifa Stars' wall, rising to head home an immaculate free-kick delivered by his brother Laryea.
Former Nigerian international captain Vincent Enyeama is the African record-holder for goals by a goalkeeper. Holder of the Nigerian record of 101 caps, Enyeama played from 1999-2018. He was the regular penalty taker for Hapoel Tel Aviv and over the years with them, Enyeama potted 20 goals.
Zambian international goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene has scored 13 goals in a career that is ongoing. Like Enyeama, Mweene is captain of his country’s national side and is his nation’s most capped international, with 120 appearances. His most famous tally came in the group stages at the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations. Mweene scored the equalizer on a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Nigeria. One year earlier, in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations, Mweene stopped a penalty and scored on one himself as Zambia won the title 1-0 over Ivory Coast via a penalty kick shootout. He also scored for Zambia at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.
Faouzi Chaouchi, Algeria’s first-choice ’keeper at the 2010 World Cup, netted a pair of goals at club level during his career. Ivory Coast international goalkeeper Boubacar "Copa" Barry tallied a penalty for his Belgian club Lokeren during the 2011-12 season.
At the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Egypt’s Essam El Hadary became the oldest player to appear in the tournament at the age of 45 years and 161 days. His other claim to fame is a spectacular goal for Al Ahly against Kaizer Chiefs in the 2000-01 CAF Super Cup. His indirect free kick from 80 metres away hit the bar, then bounced off opposing goalkeeper Brian Baloyi and across the line.
Morrocan international Khalid Fouhami scored a penalty for Romanian club Dinamo Bucharest. Before he gained fame with Liverpool, Zimbabwe’s Bruce Grobbelaar tallied from the spot for Crewe Alexandra against York City in 1979.
Former Tunisian international and currently goalie coach for the Tunisian national team, Hamdi Kasraoui scored a goal for club team Esperance. South Africa’s Oscarine Masuluke produced the most spectacular goal by a goalie. He executed a last-minute bicycle kick to earn Baroka a point against the Orlando Pirates in the South African Premier League.
Congo’s Barel Mouko tallied an equalizer on a penalty in a 2011-12 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Swaziland. Nigeria’s Peter Rufai netted a penalty kick during a 1994 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia.
Gambian international Pa Dembo Touray scored on a penalty for Djurgardens in a Swedish League match. Algeria’s Mohamed Lamine Zemmamouche potted a penalty for MC Alger in a Coupe d'Algérie quarter-final match. Ugandan international Denis Onyango scored in a club match for Supersport United.