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AFCON 2015: Ghana win marred by fan trouble

Ghana set up a tantalizing final clash against Ivory Coast as they dispatched hosts Equatorial Guinea by three goals to nil in a match that was unfortunately blemished by trouble from the stands.

Wakaso and the Ayew brothers scored the goals to send Ghana to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, where they will meet Ivory Coast, who qualified over DR Congo.

Ghana XI: Brimah, Afful, Rahman, Mensah, Boye, Wakaso, Acquah, Ayew, Atsu, Ayew, Appiah.

Equatorial Guinea XI: Ovono, Vazquez Evuy, Mbele, Da Gracia Gomes, Belima, Senobua, Ellong, Zarandona Esono, Balboa, Nsue Lopez, Edu.

First half

The first half was tense and even with both sides showing the intent of taking the lead but at the same time holding out to protect the back. Gradually, it opened up as the half proceeded and there were dangerous runs being made by both sides into the opposition’s territory; yet there would be no goals until very late into the half. Ovono raced off his line to intercept a through ball but fouled Appiah and conceded a yellow card and a penalty. Gyan’s replacement, Jordan Ayew, calmly slotted home the sixth penalty of this year’s competition.

There was no respite for Equatorial Guinea as three minutes later Mubarak Wakaso piled on the misery; finishing off a counter-attacking move after being set up by Atsu across the box. He controlled the pass, and finished off at the bottom corner superbly.

Second half

Even before the second half started, trouble seemed to have been brewing as the Ghanaians had to be shielded to the tunnel against bottles being pelted at them.

Notwithstanding, the Black Stars looked intent on finishing off the host and had some brilliant opportunities on the break but always seemed to break down where it mattered most.

Equatorial Guinea, who had long since lost their heads, finally saw any dreams of a comeback extinguished courtesy of Andre Ayew. He moved joint top-scorer with a simple tap home after Ovono was involved in another failed attempt to come off his line allowing Appiah to easily find his captain.

Sadly, there would be no more action after play stopped due to Ghana fans, seemingly, forced off the stands and onto one side of the pitch; under a hail of plastic bottles. The embarrassing scenes saw the game halted for a good part of thirty minutes and briefly resumed to confirm Ghana’s place in the final in Bata on Sunday.

I have dedicated part of my time in this bad world to following African football. From CECAFA to WAFU, COSAFA to UNAF & even the forgotten UNIFFAC.

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