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Defensive Ghana reach final

January 31, 2010

Asamoah Gyan’s third goal of the tournament was enough to take Ghana into the final for the first time since 1992. Ghana have scored one goal in each of their four matches thus far, winning three of them 1-0. Credit must be given to the young side which has been without Michael Essien since the first game. They were comfortably beaten by Ivory Coast in their opening game and then only scraped past Burkina Faso 1-0. Since then they have come up against Angola and Nigeria and successfully defended early leads.

Asamoah Gyan celebrates scoring another winner

While against Angola they had to withstand heavy pressure, in the semi’s they came up against a largely unimaginative Nigerian side. After Gyan headed in Kwadwo Asamoah’s corner on 21 minutes Nigeria failed to create enough clear chances to worry their regional rivals. However, the final may be a step too far for Ghana. Their opponents, Egypt, have been by far the best side in the tournament, scoring goals for fun and providing the most entertainment for the neutrals.

Before the competition kicked off Egypt were unfancied to win a third consecutive Cup of Nations, and the Videprinter predicted an all West Arican final between Ivory Coast and Cameroon. Egypt go into the final as clear favourites, with players like Geddo, Hassan, Zidan and Moteab all on top form. But if the African Cup of Nations has taught us anything so far it is to expect the unexpected. Right from the first game, when Mali came from four down with 12 minutes to go to claim a draw, nothing has gone to script, certainly not for the Videprinter anyway.

The third place play-off was played in Benguela yesterday, and Nigeria beat Algeria 1-0 to win the tournament’s most meaningless game. The Algerian side was significantly depleted after the three red cards picked up in the semi-final and Nigeria could have won this by many more. Victor Obinna’s 54th minute goal was enough to win third place for the Super Eagles.

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