Ghana’s ‘frustration plan’ paid off, says coach

2014-01-30 13:27

Ghana’s plan to frustrate Nigeria worked to perfection and they are now one victory away from being crowned kings of the African Nations Championship.

The Black Stars – reduced to 10 men on the hour mark after Kwabena Adusei was sent off – held on for a goalless draw before beating the Super Eagles 4-1 on penalties in Bloemfontein yesterday.

“We played a team that has been scoring goals at will in this tournament and needed to be cautious,” satisfied Ghanaian coach Maxwell Konadu said after the match.

“Defence is our strength. Nigeria have good players coming from midfield. We knew their team so well that we were able to neutralise qualities of their team.”

Now all roads lead to the final where Ghana will take on Libya at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi gave credit to Ghanaian keeper Stephen Adams, who pulled off an incredible save in the last minute to deny Ugonna Uzochukwu right in front of goal.

Adams also stopped Kwambe Solomon’s effort in the penalty shoot-out as Ghana held on despite Nigeria’s overwhelming dominance.

Keshi said : “The Ghana keeper did a wonderful job ... But I salute my team because they gained experience and a few players showed some talent and I have a few names in the pocket for the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.”

Konadu also had words of praise for Keshi – nicknamed The Big Boss – who will lead a full-strength team containing their overseas stars in Brazil.

Ghana, too, will be in the World Cup with their European-based players in tow where Konadu will be deputy to senior national team coach Kwesi Appiah.

Konadu said: “I’m sure Nigerians are behind him and all respect what he has done for them and African football.

“These are the kind of men we need in African football and we are all following in his steps and learning from him.”

Nigeria, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations champions, will take on Zimbabwe in a third/fourth place play-off match on Saturday, also in Cape Town.

Read: Zimbabwe coach ‘hurt’ by defeat

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