Saturday, February 7, 2015

Analysis: FINALLY, IT’S IVORY COAST VS GHANA IN THE FINAL..Which Team Will Emerge Victorious?

By Titus Musoke
After the shameful incidences of crowd unrest during the AFCON semi-final match between Ghana and Equatorial Guinea, it’s now official that the 2015 AFCON final will feature two African football powerhouses Ghana and coted I voire. Ghana edged out Equatorial Guinea 3-0 in a matched marred by crowd unrest that rocked the Malabo stadium. Bottles and glass were thrown on the pitch forcing the referee to stop the match for over thirty minutes with Ghanian fans being forced to take refuge behind one of the goal posts before being escorted out by police. Efforts by Equatorial Guinea to calm players did not bear any fruit as they were also hit by flying objects from the rowdy fans. It took the intervention of the police supported by a hovering police helicopter to drive a way the rowdy fans before the match resumed. Referee Erick Arnoud Otogo-Castane blew up the final whistle confirming the Ghana vs Ivory Coast date in the Sunday’s final.

The Ivorians on the other side made it to the final after beating the hard-fighting DR Congo 3-1. Unlike the Ghana equatorial guinea match, the DR Congo vs Ivory Coast match was a thriller with the Congolese really putting up an outstanding performance on the pitch. Yaya Toures fourty yard strike during the match remains a talking point during the match analysis. A great strike indeed.

Road to final
During the qualifiers, Ghana topped group E ahead of Guinea who finished second and Uganda and Togo who finished third and fourth respectively. They were later pooled together in the group termed tobe a group of death that consisted of South Africa, Algeria and Senegal. They emerged top in the group and made a date with Guinea whom they demolished 3-0 in the quarterfinals.

The Ivorians on the other side were in group D during the qualifiers where they finished second behind Cameroon and a head of DR Congo and Siera Leone. They were then pooled in group D during the group stage again with Cameroon, Mali and Guinea. They finished top and made a date with Algeria in the quarters where they again thrashed them 3-1 to reach the semis. They later beat DR Congo 3-1 to make it to the Sunday final.

Ghana have been to the final eight times,1963,1965, 1968, 1970, 1978, 1982,1992 and 2010. They won the cup four times in 1963,1965, 1978 and 1982.
The Ivorians have been in the final three times in 1992, 2006,and 2012. They won the cup in 1992 when they beat Ghana 11-10 in penalty shootouts after a barren draw.
Probable line ups for Sunday final.

Razak Brima, Harrison Afful,Baba Bahman, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye,Mubarak Wakaso,Ariyie Acquah,Andre Ayew,Christian Atsu, Asamoa Gyan,kwesi Appiah.
Gynma,Jordan Ayew, Awal,Badu ,Sowah, Rabiu, Asante ,Otoo, Dauda, Amartey, Accam, Acheampong.

Ivory Coast
Gbohouo,Aurier,Bailly,KoloToure,Kamon,Gradel,Serey Die,Yaya Toure,Tiene,Bonny,Gervinho.
Barry,Assale,Viera,Doukoure,Doumbia,Kalou, Tallo,Akpa Akpro,Diomande,Traore,Sayouba.
Eighth February is the D-day. Who will carry the day?

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