Ghana Book AFCON Final Ticket

Ghana are through to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final after a 3-0 beating of hosts Equatorial Guinea in Malabo on Thursday.  In an entertaining opening period both sides had half-chances but goalkeeper Felipe Ovono was superb in rushing out on two occasions in as many minutes.  In the 32nd minute 15 managed to win a header in the box and from the knockdown 10 attempted an audacious scissor kick but it was straight at Razak Braimah.

In the 41st minute a penalty was awarded to Avram Grant’s men after Ovono brought down Kwesi Appiah in the area.  A beautiful through-ball after a trading of passes in a midfield triangle put Appiah in on goal but he was thwarted by the home keeper.  Jordan Ayew stepped up to slot home the spot kick to hand Grant’s side a 1-0 lead.

Wakaso Mubarak hammered home the second in first half stoppage time.  Nzalang Nacional had a corner but the Black Stars counter-attacked and Christian Atsu set up Mubarak who took one touch to beat the defender before drilling the ball home to ensure a 2-0 lead at half-time.  It should have been three in the 55th minute when Andre Ayew missed a header from point blank range but with the goal at his mercy, Ayew managed to head wide.

Two minutes later a glorious through-ball put Appiah threw on goal but again Ovono was on hand to thwart the danger as he rushed out to block the attempt.  The third arrived in the 75th minute when Appiah again found himself one-on-one with Ovono, and just like on so many previous occasions the Equatorial Guinean blocked the attempt however on this occasion the ball spilled and Appiah moved quickly to square to Andre Ayew who beat the retreating goalkeeper.

Crowd trouble on 82 minutes caused the match to be delayed with security required to protect the players and officials.  After several minutes the home players themselves entered the athletics track and pleaded with the fans to subdue their anger.  Eventually after around a 35-minute delay the match finally resumed.

Bizarrely the clock resumed on 90 minutes and only three minutes were added.  It finished 3-0 as the West Africans booked their date with Ivory Coast in Sunday’s final.

Photo credit: AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA