Libya through to Chan final after beating Zim on penalties

2014-01-29 20:32

Libya booked their place in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) final in superb fashion after beating Zimbabwe 5-4 in thrilling sudden death penalty shootout at the Free State Stadium.

The hero in this semifinal encounter, which finished 0-0 after extra-time, was Libya goalkeeper Mohamed Abdoula.

He held his nerve to convert the winning kick having saved two Zimbabwean spot kicks from Milton Ncube and Ali Sadiki.The Warriors had also missed through Simba Sithole (off the post) while Peter Moyo blasted over the bar.

Zimbabwe keeper George Chigova had also given his side some life in the dramatic shootout as he stopped efforts from Libya captain Ali Salama and Motasem Sabbou, while Mohamed Mahfud’s penalty effort went wide.

The Mediterranean Knights – the surprise package of the tournament – will now face the winner in the other semifinal between Ghana and Nigeria at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Zimbabwe will have to settle for the third and fourth place playoff match on Saturday with the losing semifinalists, also in Cape Town.

However, Ian Gorowa's side only have themselves to blame after dominating the fixture and creating enough chances to snatch victory in a game played in wet conditions.

The Libyans had opted to employ a counter-attack strategy while attempting to close down space to manoeuvre for their opponents.

While the first half of normal time lacked any real fireworks, Zimbabwe had two clear cut chances through Sadiki and Sithole that sailed wide of goal.

The only meaningful opportunity for the North Africans came in the 13th minute as an unmarked Mohamed Ghanudi inside the box saw his header from an Abdelrahman Fetori cross going over the posts.

Sadiki again tested Abdoula in the Libyan goal early in the second half , while Sithole managed to find the net on the hour mark only for the goal to be disallowed as he was marginally offside.

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