Ghana, Ivory Coast zoom into 2015 AFCON semi-finals

Posted by News Express | 2 February 2015 | 3,532 times

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Ghana and Ivory Coast yesterday evening joined DR Congo and hosts Equatorial Guinea into the semi-finals of the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations after sending home Guinea and Algeria respectively.

In the first match of the evening, Christian Atsu scored twice as Ghana beat Guinea 3-0 in Malabo on Sunday to ease into their fifth successive AFCON semi-final.

Atsu set the Black Stars on their way to a comfortable quarter-final victory when he opened the scoring in the fourth minute in Equatorial Guinea’s capital, before Kwesi Appiah increased their advantage a minute before the interval.

And Atsu, the winger on loan at Everton from their English Premier League rivals Chelsea, then saw his cross-cum-shot find the net on 61 minutes to take Ghana through to a last-four showdown with the hosts on Thursday.

While Avram Grant’s side keep alive their hopes of a first continental crown since 1982, Guinea’s Cup of Nations adventure ends without them winning a game at the finals. They also ended the match with 10 men after goalkeeper Naby Yattara was sent off just before the final whistle.

The Syli Nationale only made it into the knockout stage at Mali’s expense via a drawing of lots after drawing all three of their group games, and Michel Dussuyer’s side never looked like causing an upset here.

In the last of the quarter-final matches, a brace of headers from Wilfried Bony helped give Ivory Coast a 3-1 win over Algeria.

The recent Manchester City signing was quiet during the group stage in Equatorial Guinea but came to life to help the Elephants to victory in this quarter-final showdown.

He got his first goal of the competition on 26 minutes to put the Ivorians in front and then headed in the crucial second goal midway through the second half after Hilal Soudani had equalised for Algeria.

Gervinho made sure of the win at the death as the Ivory Coast exacted revenge for their dramatic defeat to Algeria in extra-time at the same stage of the 2010 Cup of Nations in Angola.

Algeria go home having ultimately failed to live up to their billing as pre-tournament favourites, thus effectively ending the 2015 AFCON adventure by North Africa, with Tunisia having been upset by Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

Ivory Coast will take on DR Congo in the semi-finals in Bata on Wednesday while Equatorial Guinea face an uphill task against Ghana.

2015 AFCON SEMI-FINAL PAIRINGS

Ivory Coast vs DR Congo

Equatorial Guinea vs Ghana

•Photo shows Ivorians celebrating their victory over Algeria at the 2015 AFCON . . . yesterday in Equatorial Guinea.


Source: News Express

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