Black night for Ghana

2008-02-08 00:00

HOST nation Ghana’s hearts were broken as Cameroon out-muscled the Black Stars 1-0 in the African Nations Cup semi-final at Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra last night.

The defeat devastated a home crowd, and home nation, caught up in the euphoria of Ghana’s unbeaten run to the quarter-finals.

Cameroon, who appeared a spent force after their opening 4-2 defeat against Egypt, snuffed out the challenge of the Black Stars with some physical football. Even more remarkable about Cameroon’s victory was that they achieved it with star player, out-of-form Barcelona forward, Samuel Eto’o largely anonymous.

For Ghana, the suspension of central defender John Mensah, red-carded in the 2-1 quarter-final victory over Nigeria, proved crucial. Coach Claude Le Roy had some tough decisions to make in the absence of the heart and soul of his defence.

The Frenchman opted to bring Michael Essien into the back four and pull Sulley Muntari in from left midfield to playmaker, but this proved ineffective and several times during the match Le Roy tried, unsuccessfully, to reshuffle his team.

In the second half the hosts appeared to be gaining the advantage, but Alain Nkong scored against the run of play for Cameroon in the 71st minute, then the Lions shut the game down.

Ghana created only two half-chances in the first half, the first coming midway through when Andre Ayew cut in from the left, where he had come in for Muntari, but shot weakly for Cameroon goalkeeper Carlos Kameni to make the save.

On either side of this Cameroon had two good chances of their own, the first when Eric Addo’s missed clearance gifted Steven Mbia the ball on the edge of the area, and the Cameroon playmaker shot just too high. In the 39th minute, Geremi’s 30 metre free-kick was not picked up by Ghana ‘keeper Richard Kingson and skimmed the crossbar.

Ghana tried to take control after the break. First a shuffle by Le Roy, bringing Ayew into the middle as a shadow striker behind Junior Agogo, then the substitution of the wayward Quincy Owusu-Abeyie by Laryea Kingston, increased the home team’s creativity up-front.

Ayew’s shot cannoned off the head of Andre Amougou, but moments later Cameroon took the lead against the run of play. Substitute Nkong, on for the ineffective Joseph-Desire Job, was gifted acres of space to run through and sidefoot past Kingson.

Amougo was red-carded after scuffling with Kingston, but Cameroon held out for victory.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.