African Nations Championship
Full Time: Nigeria 0-0 Ghana
*Ghana won 4-1 on penalties
Date: 29 Janaury 2014
Venue: Free State Stadium
Ghana progressed to the final of the 2014 CAF African Nations Championship, beating Nigeria 4-1 in a penalty shoot-out, after their semi-final match at the Free State Stadium on Wednesday night finished 0-0 after 120 minutes of football.
Ghana will now face Libya in the final of CHAN after they beat Zimbabwe also in a penalty shoot-out earlier in the day.
The opening 45 minutes was a half dominated by long range efforts from both sides as each team stood firm in defence.
Ghana started the brighter of the teams and created their first chance on goal in the second minute after some superb control from Seidu Bancey saw him chest the ball down before volleying inches wide from distance.
Eight minutes later Ghana’s Abraham Asiedu Attobrah tried his luck with a shot from the edge of the box, but it was deflected narrowly wide of the goal.
In the 12th minute Nigeria fashioned their first opening from a long throw-in into the box that was allowed to bounce to Abubakar Ibrahim Aliyu at the near post, but he fired into the side-netting.
Nigeria came closest to breaking the first half deadlock when Abubakar Ibrahim Aliyu fired a thunderous long range effort against the crossbar.
The last decent chance of the half also fell to Nigeria as Ejike Uzoenyi curled the ball just over the crossbar from 24-yards out.
The half ended 0-0.
The second half started a little slowly as both sides squandered possession early on with some poor passing and bad decision making in the final third.
Nigeria had the first attempt on goal in the second stanza when Ifeanyi Ede burst into the left side of the 18-yard box in the 52nd minute, beating two defenders, before firing over from roughly 16-yards out.
Ghana’s task of winning the match was made all that more difficult in the 64th minute when they were reduced to ten men following the sending off of Kwabina Adusei for his second bookable offence.
Nigeria, though, struggled to tack advantage of the extra man and were constantly thwarted by a very organised Ghanaian defence.
Consequently, the Super Eagles had to shoot from long range, but with very little effect.
In the 75th minute Bright Eseme tried his luck from just outside the box, but his effort went inches wide.
Four minutes later it was the turn of Abdullahi Shehu to shoot from outside the box, but he also missed the target as the 90 minutes ended all-square and the match moved into extra-time.
Both sides were visibly tiring in extra-time and chances on goal were few and far between.
The closest we came to seeing a goal in the first half of extra-time came in the 97th minute after Imenger Barnabas met a low cross from the left, but he turned the ball inches over the crossbar from only four-yards out.
The closets we came to a goal in the second half of extra-time came in the 116th minute and fell to Imenger Barnabas again, but he skewed his shot inches wife of the post from 16-yards out.
The match ended 0-0 after 120 minutes of action and entered the dreaded penalty shootout.
Four successful spot-kicks from Ghana saw them beat Nigeria 4-1 in the penalty shott-out.
Ghana – Akuffo – scores
Nigeria – Uzoenyi – scores
Ghana – Theophilus – scores
Nigeria – Kwambe – save
Ghana – Ainooson – scores
Nigeria – Uzochukwu – miss
Ghana – Attorbrah - scores
Related Article: Starting XI: Nigeria V Ghana
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