Ghana became the first country to qualify for the finals of the African Cup of Nations after beating traditional rivals Nigeria 1-0 in a hard fought semi-final on Thursday in Luanda.
Asamoah Gyan was once again on hand for the depleted Black Stars when he headed the ball into the back of the net from Kwadwo Asamoah’s 21st minute corner kick.
Four minutes later the striker nearly doubled his tally but his chip flashed over goalkeeper Enyeama’s post.
Nigeria forward Obafemi Martins could have equalised for the Green men three minutes later when a Peter Odemwingie shot landed before him in the Ghana penalty box but goalkeeper Richard Kingson was quick to punch his kick away.
With 15 minutes remaining in the first half, captain Odemwingie just missed a cross that would have given the Super Eagles a lifeline.
The first half came to a close with yellow cards for Nigeria’s Ayila in the 38th minute and Ghana forward Haminu Draman in the 43rd minute.
Nigeria began the second half on a positive note but could not convert most of their golden opportunities into goals.
Ghanaian fans sat on a time bomb throughout the last 45 minutes but striker Martins wasted several chances for the Nigerians.
This is the fourth time in succession that the two-time African champions have fallen in the semi-final.
Ghana now awaits the winner of the Egypt-Algeria game in the other semi-final in Benguela.
Photo credit: Eurospot