AFCON 2017: Cameroon beat Ghana 2-0 to reach final

Ngadeu (No. 5) scored first for the Indomitable Lions[/caption] Four-time champions Cameroon beat Ghana 2-0 in the semi-final on Thursday to reach the final of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Two second half goals from Slavia Prague’s Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui and Denmark-based Christian Bassogog gave the Indomitable Lions the ticket to face Egypt in Sunday’s final. The semi-final game at the Stade de Franceville was a repeat of the 2008 semi-final, which saw Cameroon pip Ghana, then hosts, 1-0. Ghana’s goalie Razak Brimah, who came under disciplinary action a couple of days to the game, was the busier of the two goalkeepers, having to be called to action on a number of occasions led mostly by Bassogog, who eventually emerged the Man of the Match. Not even a penalty call by the Cameroonians after a John Boye handball will convince Gambian referee Gassama Papa Bakary to give the Lions an easier way out to breaking the deadlock in the first half. Harrison Afful would also be called to make a goal-line clearance of an Ahmed Djoum flying header from a Cameroon cornerkick. The Stars were not completely overawed, however, in the half as they shaded possession with 51 per cent. The second half presented a number of opportunities for either side to score with Thomas Partey, Christian Atsu and Jordan Ayew coming close for the Stars while Bassogog, Benjamin Moukandjo and Clinton N’Jie came close for the Lions. An unnecessary tackle by Mubarak Wakaso in the 72nd minute a few yards off Ghana’s penalty area offered the Cameroonians an opportunity and they made it count. Brimah failed to clear the aerial ball from Benjamin Moukandjo’s freekick while defender John Boye also failed to head the ball out of danger. Boye’s unorthodox header fell to a lurking Ngadeu, who picked it into the roof of the Stars’ net. The Stars’ search for an equaliser saw coach Avram Grant pulling out Afriyie Acquah and Thomas Partey for Asamoah Gyan and Agyemang-Badu respectively. But the substitutions hardly paid off as the Lions rather countered the Stars’ attack to put the game beyond the 2015 losing finalists. Bassogog led the counter-attack beating an indecisive Brimah in post. With the result, Cameroon will play Egypt at the Stade de l’Amitie in Sunday’s final while Ghana will play neighbours Burkina Faso in the third-place playoff.

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By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh||Ghana ]]>