Ghana midfielder Mubarak Wakaso could not hold back his tears during his receipt of the Man of the Match award after their Round of 16 shootout loss to Tunisia at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) on Monday night.
The Deportivo Alaves man put up an outstanding display at Ismailia Stadium but it was ultimately not enough as the Black Stars crashed out of the tournament 5-4 on penalties, the match having ended 1-1 after extra-time.
In normal time, Taha Yassine Khenissi broke the deadlock for Tunisia in the 73rd minute before Rami Bedoui’s own goal in injury time leveled the score for Ghana.
“I can’t even describe how we are feeling but the only thing I have is I need to thank my colleagues the whole time for their support,” a sobbing Wakaso said at the presser after receiving his award.
“It’s part of the game. I think we need to think about our future – that’s the only thing we can do.
“My reason [for being so emotional and weeping in the press conference] was that I thought this tournament was for us due to the hard work we’ve been putting in in every match.
“That is the reason why I’m like this right now but still have a future so we need to think ahead.”
It was Wakaso’s second Man of the Match award at the tournament after picking up the prize in the last group fixture against Guinea-Bissau too.
Ghana will now have to wait until Cameroon 2021 to possibly end what will be a 39-year trophy drought.
The Black Stars reached the semi-final at Afcon between 2008 and 2017, making the final in 2010 and 2015.