THU 21 SEPTEMBER 2017, 18:00 , CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM

2 Ghana
VS
0 Niger

Hosts Ghana face Niger battle

Hosts Ghana face Niger battle
Salomon Junior of Benin challenging Hainikoye Soumana Boubacar of Niger during the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Niger v Benin in Elmina, Ghana on 19 September 2017 ©Christian Thompson/ BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Wednesday Sep 20, 2017. 19:09

Ghana will put their 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations dreams on the line when they face Niger in the second semfinal on Thursday. The clash is slated for the Cape Coast Sports Stadium, with kick-off at 18h00 local time.

Ghana topped Group A - despite losing their last match to Nigeria on Monday - and come into this semi as the clear tournament favourites. Maxwell Konadu’s side are the hosts and reigning champions, meaning expectations are high, but their defeat to the Super Eagles may have been just the wake-up call they needed.

“I think the game against Nigeria was a difficult one, but all the same I have to congratulate the boys for what they did even though we lost game, they played through a lot of difficulties,” said Konadu.

“We have to congratulate Nigeria, they took their chances and played very well. It was a day, nothing really worked for us. We will go back, rest well and recover for Thursday and the semifinal.”

Niger had a roller coaster ride to qualify from Group B, particularly in their last match: they lost 2-1 to Benin on Tuesday night in a game where they held the lead, had two men sent off in the first half, had to put an outfield player in goal and lost the game by conceding in the dying minutes!

Yet despite all that drama, they still qualified for the final four, edging ahead of Senegal on head-to-head results (the Menas beat the Teranga Lions 2-1 last Friday) to join group winners Benin in the semis.

Quite what Niger will do in terms of their goalkeeping crisis remains to be seen: first-choice Daouda Kassaly was injured against the Squirrels, while his replacement Mainassara Yahaya lasted just five minutes before receiving a straight red card - both are presumably unavailable for the match against Ghana.

The winner of this semifinal will face either Benin or Nigeria in the final on Sunday, while the loser will play in the third-place playoff on Saturday.

Ghana and Niger have met in 11 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Black Stars boast an unbeaten record (10 wins, one draw) and have outscored their opponents 38 goals to four in the process.

Ghana v Niger, head-to-head


GHANA v NIGER

Black Stars shoot into WAFU semifinals

Black Stars shoot into WAFU semifinals
Kizito Kwame of Ghana celebrates goal with teammates during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations Semifinal match between Ghana and Niger at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 21 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Staff Reporter

Thursday Sep 21, 2017. 21:51

Goals in each half from Kwame Kizito and Stephen Safro handed Ghana a 2-0 win over Niger in the second semifinal of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Thursday, September 21.

Niger started strongly and created their first real chance on goal in the tenth minute when Adebayor Victorien dribbled his way into the box, beating two defenders, before seeing his close range effort brilliantly saved by the keeper.

Ghana started to take control of the match and opened the scoring in the 31st minute when Kwame Kizito powerfully headed home a corner-kick from six-yards out, 1-0.

Niger suffered a further set back two minutes later when Kofi Dankwae had to leave the filed injured and was replaced by Ibrahim Mansour.

The Black Stars continued to dominate the game, but could not add to the scoreline before the break.

Two minutes into the second half Kwame Kisito should have found Ghana’s second goal when he broke through the defence, but he was denied in a one-on-one with the keeper.

The next chance on goal went the way of Niger in the 64th minute when Souleymane Dela met a free-kick from the left with a strong 14-yard volley, but his shot went inches over the target.

Ghana put the result beyond doubt in the 79th minute when Stephen Safro turned home a low right wing cross from Samuel Safro at close range, 2-0.

Niger tried to find some consolation in the dying minutes of the game as they threw players forward, but they could find none as Ghana won 2-0.

Black Stars will meet Nigeria in the final of the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations at Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Sunday, September 24.

Ghana (1) 2 (Kizito 31’, Stephen Safro 79’)
Niger (0) 0

Teams

Ghana coach: Maxwell Konadu

Ghana: 1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S Safro, 5. Atingah, 6. Abbey, 10. Cobbinah, 18. Lomotey, 7. Twum, 8. Waja (11. Andoh 60’), 15. K Safro (9. F Addo 85’), 13. Kizito (14. Adams 76’).

Niger coach: Francois Zahoui Gagui Victor

Niger: 22. Losseini, 3. Lebene, 5. Adamou (14. Ganiyu 75’), 18. Dankwae (Mansour 33’), 19. Khaido, 8. M Daouda, 9. Hinsa (10. Halidou 67’), 12. Dela, 20. Hainikoye, 11. Victorien, 23. Boubacar.

Starting Lineup

Ghana : Joseph Addo, Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo, Amos Frimpong, Gideon Waja, Thomas Abbey, Vincent Adaeh Antigah, Kwame Kizito, Cobbinah Winful Essuah, Samuel Sarfo, Isaac Twumasi, Addoquye Emmenuel Lomotey

Niger : Issa Doumbia Losseini, Abdoul Magid Moumouni Boubacar, Issoufou Hinsa, Adamou Garba Abdoul Nasser, Khaido Kantou Assadeh, David Daogo Lebne, Kofi Dankwae, Dela Sakou Souleymane, Yusif Moussa Daouda, Hainikoye Soumana Boubacar, Zakari Adebayor Adje Victorien

Live Commentary

1' The match is underway!
31' Kwame Kizito (Ghana) scores!
33' Niger: Ibrahim Hassane Mansour replaces Kofi Dankwae
45 + 1' The referee brings the first half to an end.
46' The second half is underway
58' Dela Sakou Souleymane (Niger) is cautioned.
63' Samuel Sarfo (Ghana) is cautioned.
67' Niger: Idrissa Garba Halidou replaces Issoufou Hinsa
75' Niger: Hutmanu Tidjani Elhadji Ganiyu replaces Adamou Garba Abdoul Nasser
76' Ghana: Ahmed Adams replaces Kwame Kizito
79' Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo (Ghana) scores!
85' Ghana: Felix Addo replaces Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo
90 + 3' The referee blows the whistle for Full Time.

Match Statistics

MATCH VENUE REFEREE
SEMI FINALS CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM
GHANA GOALS NIGER GOALS
13. Kwame Kizito (31')
15. Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo (79')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1
GHANA STARTING LINEUP NIGER STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
0
5
Defender
8
Midfielder
3
Defender
79'
85'
15
Midfielder
58'
12
Defender
6
1
10
Midfielder
67'
0
Midfielder
7
0
Midfielder
31'
76'
13
Midfielder
33'
18
Midfielder
63'
12
Midfielder
8
Forward/Striker
18
SUBSTITUTIONS
Ahmed Adams
Defender
76'
14
Ibrahim Hassane Mansour
Midfielder
33'
0
Felix Addo
Midfielder
85'
9
Idrissa Garba Halidou
Midfielder
67'
0
Hutmanu Tidjani Elhadji Ganiyu
Midfielder
75'
0
CARDS
Samuel Sarfo
Midfielder
63'
12
Dela Sakou Souleymane
Midfielder
58'
12
KEY
Goal
Penalty Missed
Yellow Card
Substitute IN
Own Goal
Penalty Shootout Goal
Yellow / Red Card
Substitute OUT
Penalty
Penalty Shootout Miss
Red Card
Injury