Thursday, February 7, 2008
Talk about unexpected.
I saw a Ghana-Ivory Coast African Cup of Nations final happening no matter what.
How could Cameroon stop the Black Stars on their home turf? How could Egypt defend their title against the hungry Ivorian Elephants, who wanted revenge from their loss against the Pharaohs in the 2006 final?
I was wrong, very wrong.
Egypt, who beat Ivory Coast on penalties in the final two years ago, thumped the Ivorians 4-1 in their semi-final in Kumasi on Thursday. Cameroon reached their sixth Nations Cup final with a 1-0 victory over hosts Ghana in Accra.
So the game's set. Egypt-Cameroon for the right to call themselves African champions!
I didn't see the games today. Work pulled me away. But from what I read, Ivory Coast's reserve goalkeeper Stephan Loboue was somewhat to blame. Loboue came on for the injured Boubacar Barry in the 39th minute.
As for Cameroon, they fought and fought in what was described as a dingy, dull game.
Substitute Alain Nkong's second-half goal gave the Indomitable Lions the win and a place in the final.
Poor Ghana. What suffering must be going on in the host country. So many expectations, so much energy coming off of Sunday's super victory against Nigeria.
"I was never as sad in my career as I am today," said Ghana coach Claude Le Roy.
"It's a terrible deception to lose this game. I can understand how sad the people of Ghana are tonight."