AFCON: African football hits new low as game is abandonedfrom JEAN OSCAR-PIERRE in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea
MALABO, (CAJ News) – THE ugly face of the Beautiful Game has reared its ugly head again, this time resulting in the abandonment of the Africa Cup of Nations Cup semifinal between Ghana and hosts Equatorial Guinea.
Ghana were on course to book a berth in the final following a 3-0 lead but only for one of lowest points in African football to strike.
Hooliganism took control of the game late into the game when Ghana fans sought refuge in the pitch to evade attacks from opposing fans.
The Ghanaians seemed to have confirmed their berth in the final with a straightforward victory over hosts Equatorial Guinea at the Nuevo Estadio de Malabo on Thursday evening.
The Black Stars secured a commanding lead going to halftime through goals by Jordan Ayew and Mubarak Wakaso.
The teams seemed headed for a goalless first half until the 42nd minute when a clumsy tackle by host goalkeeper, Felipe Ovono, on Kwesi Appiah resulted in a penalty for Ghana with the keeper earning a yellow card for his troubles.
Ayew sent Avono the wrong way to convert the spot-kick and gave the four-time champions the lead.
The hosts’ woes would worsen in injury time when Wakaso finished off a sweeping Ghanaian move from inside the box, expertly controlling, beating a defender and unleashing a grounder to stretch his team’s lead.
Such was the expertise the goal was taken that the usually unmoved Ghana coach, Avram Grant, was on his feet punching the air excitement.
Ghana maintained the pressure in the second stanza but defender John Boye headed narrowly wide in the 55th.
Appiah wasted a glorious opportunity to increase Ghana’s in the 56 minute when he shot straight at a badly-exposed Ovono.
He would make amends in the 75th minute with an assist for captain Adre Ayew to score the third from close range and put the result beyond doubt.
The semifinal would the degenerate into a farce following crowd trouble.
The beaten semifinalists were set to battle for bronze in the third/fourth place playoff against Democratic Republic of Congo, beaten 3-1 by Ivory Coast on Wednesday, at the Estadio de Malabo on Saturday.
Their conquerors were set contest the decider a day later at the Estadion de Bata.
– CAJ News
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