Posted by News Express | 1 February 2014 | 3,052 times
After 120 minutes of action that produced no goal this night at the Cape Town Stadium in South Africa, it was Libya who lifted the third Championship of African Nations (CHAN) trophy via penalty shootouts.
Contrary to the prediction of pundits, the Libyans had dominated the encounter, missing one scoring chance after another – the Ghanaians also had goalkeeper Stephen Adams to thank, especially for the saving an 108th point-blank header that appeared destined to cross the line.
In the ensuing penalty shootouts, the both goalies goalies save two kicks apiece while Tijani Joshua missed Ghana’s kick in the sudden death.
Libya went into the match seeking to settle a 32-year-old score against Ghana after the Black Stars beat them 7-6 on post-match penalties in the 1982 Africa Cup final in Tripoli after finishing 1-1 after extra time. That win was the last time Ghana picked up a continental honour at senior level.
Ghana lost the inaugural final of CHAN to DR Congo in 2009.
This night’s match was the third overall meeting in the competition between both sides, both of whom, incidentally, qualified for the final following penalty-kick victories – Ghana against Nigeria and Libya over Zimbabwe.
At the 2009 edition of CHAN in Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Libya drew 1-1 in a preliminary round Group B game in Bouake in a match Ghana came from behind to snatch a point.
It was the same this year in Group C when they finished 1-1 in their penultimate pool match on January 17 at Free State Stadium in Mangaung, although this time it was Libya who rallied to snatch a point.
Both teams coincidentally qualified for CHAN without kicking the ball after walkover results in the qualifiers.
Incidentally, Libya were originally due to host this tournament but their troubles at home saw South Africa take over the event. And now they’ve won it in dramatic fashion!
In the third-place match decided earlier at the same venue, Nigeria beat Zimbabwe 1-0 to lift the bronze.
•Photo shows Nuru Sulley of Ghana battles with Mohamed Ghanudi Abushnaf in their 2014 CHAN group match.
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