Ghana Outsted As Plucky Cameroon Snatch Win
Ghana Outsted As Plucky Cameroon Snatch Win Website
A second-half goal from Alain Nkong proved too much for hosts Ghana, whose involvement in the African Cup of Nations thus ends at the semi-final stage. Cameroon found the finish in what was a largely even and less-than-beautiful encounter in Accra. Still, what the game lacked in finesse, it made up for with vigour. With Gyan out, Ghana moved Quincu Owusu-Abeyie up front with Agogo, and his side set about attacking early. Within five minutes, Sulley Muntari was able to play in a fine cross, but Eric Addo could do nothing with it at the far post. Soon afterwards, though, some more planning could have seen Cameroon take the lead, but Eto'o collided right into Kingson in an attempt to connect with Song's cross. For the most part, there was a lot of hoofing and punting, but relatively little football on display, but Ghana wree occasionally proving themselves capable of the odd passing move. Still, as with much of the tournament, long-range efforts were the order of the day, with Achille Emana coming close with a dipping volleyed effort 20 minutes in. Ghana had another chance on the half hour mark through a Dede Ayew solo effort, but it was a routine save for Kameni. At the other end - and it was end-to-end - Geremi so nearly made it 1-0 with a sensational 40-yard free-kick, but his effort clipped the post and flew wide. Ghana closed the half strongly with a header from Ayew after Muntari's cross, and it appeared that their use of the ball in the final third was superior to that of Cameroon. Indeed, Essien, who had been rather quiet in his enforced defensive role, was involved in a pacy attacking move just after the break, but he and Owusu-Abeyie were caught by some fine defending at the last second. Essien was called into action at the other end with a tackle of his own against the onrushing Eto'o a few minutes later as the game continued its end-to-end status. Both teams made their changes, but it was for Cameroon that it paid off, as they took a brilliant goal, inevitably on the break, seventy minutes in. Alain Nkong took advantage of a brilliant through ball from Samuel Eto'o to hit Ghana on the counter, the journeyman forward's brilliant effort across Richard Kingson rendering the 'keeper helpless, and the hosts on the verge of elimination. It was a tough break for Ghana, who had been in fact the better side from perhaps the 40th minute onwards, but the quality of Cameroon's goal was undeniable. In response, the Black Stars tried to press forward, but the Black Stars were initially met with a wall of opposition. Although, ten minutes after that opener, Ghana were given a perfect opportunities to equalise, but somehow squandered it. Agogo had a golden chance as he is picked out at the penalty spot by a cross from the right, but he incredibly headed over despite being under no pressure at all. That spooked Cameroon, who began to waste time, milking "injuries" and set pieces as an apoplectic Claude Le Roy looked on. Carlos Kameni got in on the act after racing to snatch the ball ahead of Gyan, who insisted that the two made no contact. Barusso came on for Ayew as Ghana looked to grab a dramatic equaliser, but the dying minutes were characterised not so much by chances, but by time-wasting and thinly-veiled Ghanaian frustration. This boiled over into some unsightly "handbags" just before stoppage time, but in fact it was a Cameroonian who - quite deservedly - received their marching orders. Rigobert Song, down and seemingly incapacitated, was about to be loaded onto a stretcher-trolley as security staff looked on. Andre Bikey inexplicably shoved one of the stadium staff members to the ground, picking up a red card for his troubles. Ghana sensed that they had a chance to seize a dramatic equaliser, and when they were given a free-kick deep into stoppage time, it seemed to be the ideal time to do so. So important was this kick that Ghana even requested a new ball for the occasion. However, Barusso skied his effort way, way over the bar, and with the sailing ball went his side's chances of progression.