SUN 24 SEPTEMBER 2017, 18:00 , CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM

4 Ghana
VS
1 Nigeria

Ghana, Nigeria in titanic WAFU final

Ghana, Nigeria in titanic WAFU final
Moses Eneji Peter of Nigeria challenged by Adams Ahmed of Ghana during 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations match between Ghana and Nigeria at Cape Coast Sports Stadium in Cape Coast, Ghana on 18 September 2017 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

by Graeme Jackson

Sunday Sep 24, 2017. 19:38

Ghana and Nigeria will battle for the right to be crowned 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations champions when they meet in the final at Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday, kick-off at 18h00 local time.

Ghana, the hosts and defending WAFU champions, earned their spot in the final with a 2-0 win over Niger on Thursday: Kwame Kizito and Stephen Safro scored the goals for the Black Stars, who have looked strong contenders throughout the tournament. This will be their second final appearance, having beaten Senegal 3-1 back in 2013.

Nigeria, meanwhile, edged Benin 1-0 in their semifinal. Rabiu Ali scored in the first half for the Super Eagles, who probably should have won the match by a more convincing margin. This will be Nigeria’s third WAFU final appearance: they beat Senegal 2-0 in 2010 to win their first and only title, while their second showing was a 3-2 loss at the hands of Togo in 2011.

Ghana and Nigeria have already met once in this WAFU tournament: the Super Eagles beat the Black Stars 2-0 in the teams’ final Group A match on Monday, though it must be noted that the home side had already guaranteed themselves top spot regardless of the result.

Ghana coach Maxwell Konadu insists that his side is more than capable of claiming revenge against the Super Eagles when the teams meet again in the final.

“We will be very prepared for Nigeria. They beat us last time so we have to come out strong to turn the table against them come Sunday,” he said at the post-match conference.

“They are a very good side, but we have to fight very hard.

“You know we are the defending champions, but that now belongs to history. Sunday will be a new chapter we have to open and we will do so by trying to beat Nigeria.

“The last time (we met), we had issues as regards injuries, but I hope we have all the players fit on Sunday and we will come very, very strong against Nigeria.

“It won’t be an easy game, they won’t find it easy as well.”

Ghana and Nigeria have met in 49 previous matches, according to FIFA statistics. The Black Stars have claimed 19 wins - compared to 11 for the Super Eagles - and outscored their opponents 72 goals to 44 in the process.

Ghana v Nigeria, head-to-head

Matches played 49
Ghana wins 19
Nigeria wins 11
Draws 19
Ghana goals 72
Nigeria goals 44

Ghana crowned 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations champions

Ghana crowned 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations champions

by Staff Reporter

Sunday Sep 24, 2017. 22:01

Ghana were crowned the 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations champions after thumping Nigeria 4-1 in the final at Cape Coasts Sports Stadium on Sunday, September 24.

A brace from Stephen Sarfo, a penalty from Vincent Atingah and an injury time strike from Winnful Cobbinah saw the Black Stars defend their 2013 title.

It was a cagey start to the game from both teams with neither venturing too far forward early on.

The first real effort on goal came in the 15th minute courtesy of a long range strike from Ghana’s Emmanuel Lomotey, but his 25-yard effort sailed inches wide of the post.

Emmanuel Lomotey was in the thick of the action again ten minutes later, pouncing on a loose ball inside the box but he was magnificently denied by the acrobatics of the Nigerian keeper from 14-yards out.

The Super Eagles shot-stopper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa, was definitely at his best in the 35th minute with another superb save, diving low to his left to turn a low 18-yard shot from Isaac Twum around the post.

Nigeria suffered a set-back in the 40th minute when central defender Olamilekan Adeleye Aniyikaye had to leave the field injured and was replaced by Emmanuel Ariwachukwu.

A minute before the break Ghana made their continued pressure tell when Stephen Sarfo fired the Super Eagles in front with a thunderous strike from the edge of the box, 1-0.

The start of the second half failed to produce any fireworks until the 58th minute when substitute Patrick Razak was fouled inside the box, only a minute after coming on, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot.

Vincent Atingah stepped up for the Nigerians and doubled their lead with a well-placed spot-kick, 2-0.

In the 77th minute Patrick Razak won yet another penalty after driving into the box and being cut-down following a reckless tackle by Stephen Eze.

This time Stephen Sarfo stepped-up for Nigeria to score his second goal of the game and put the result beyond doubt, 3-0.

The only down side for the Ghana was the expulsion of Vincent Atingah after receiving his second yellow card in the 90th minute.

The icing on the cake, though, for the Black Stars was their fourth goal which was scored by Winnful Cobbinah in the 93rd minute following a goalmouth scramble inside the box, 4-0.

Nigeria did find some consolation with a goal of their own courtesy of a 22-yard free-kick from Rabiu Ali which found the top corner of the net, but it was too little too late as the game ended 4-1.

Ghana (1) 4 (Stephen Sarfo 44’ + 78’ pen, Atingah 60’ pen, Cobbinah 93’)
Nigeria (0) 1 (Ali 95’)

Teams

Ghana coach: Maxwell Konadu

Ghana: 1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S Sarfo, 5. Atingah, 6. Abbey, 10. Cobbinah, 18. Lomotey, 7. Twum, 8. Waja (17. Razak 57’), 15. K Sarfo (9. Addo 81’), 13. Kizito (14. Adams 68’).

Nigeria coach: Salisu Yusuf

Nigeria: 1. Ezenwa, 2. Okoro, 6. Eze, 12. Aniyikaye (5. Ariwachukwu 40’), 3. Akas, 4. Aremu, 8. Ifeanyi, 7. Friday (14. Okechukwu 46’), 11. P Moses, 10. Ali, 9. Okpotu (18. Eduwo 70’).

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

Nigeria : Ikechukwu Ezenwa, Olalekan Afeez Aremu, Akas Uche Chima, Moses Osadebamwen Okoro, Okpotu Anthony, Rabiu Ali, Stephen Eze, Aniyikaye Adeleye Olamilekan, Friday Ubong John, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Peter Eneji Moses

Live Commentary

1' The match is underway!
17' Vincent Adaeh Antigah (Ghana) is cautioned.
25' Friday Ubong John (Nigeria) is cautioned.
40' Nigeria: Emmanuel Ariwachukwu replaces Aniyikaye Adeleye Olamilekan
44' Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo (Ghana) scores!
45 + 2' The referee brings the first half to an end.
46' The second half is underway
46' Nigeria: Gabriel Okechukwu replaces Friday Ubong John
57' Ghana: Razak Patrick replaces Gideon Waja
60' Vincent Adaeh Antigah (Ghana) takes a penalty kick on goal.
68' Ghana: Ahmed Adams replaces Kwame Kizito
70' Nigeria: Kingsley Eduwo replaces Okpotu Anthony
78' Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo (Ghana) takes a penalty kick on goal.
81' Ghana: Felix Addo replaces Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo
90' Vincent Adaeh Antigah (Ghana) is sent off.
90 + 3' Cobbinah Winful Essuah (Ghana) scores!
90 + 5' Rabiu Ali (Nigeria) scores!
90 + 6' The referee blows the whistle for Full Time.

Match Statistics

MATCH VENUE REFEREE
FINALS CAPE COAST SPORTS STADIUM
GHANA GOALS NIGERIA GOALS
15. Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo (44') 11. Rabiu Ali (90 + 5')
5. Vincent Adaeh Antigah (60')
15. Kwadwo Stephen Sarfo (78')
10. Cobbinah Winful Essuah (90 + 3')
CAUTIONS DISMISSALS CAUTIONS DISMISSALS
1 1 1
GHANA STARTING LINEUP NIGERIA STARTING LINEUP
Goalkeeper
1
Goalkeeper
1
Defender
0
Defender
5
Defender
57'
8
Defender
44'
78'
81'
15
Midfielder
70'
18
Defender
6
0
Defender
17'
60'
90'
5
Midfielder
25'
46'
17
Midfielder
90 + 3'
10
Midfielder
10
Midfielder
7
Midfielder
68'
13
Midfielder
16
Midfielder
12
Midfielder
90 + 5'
11
Forward/Striker
18
Midfielder
3
SUBSTITUTIONS
Razak Patrick
Defender
57'
17
Emmanuel Ariwachukwu
Defender
40'
4
Ahmed Adams
Defender
68'
14
Gabriel Okechukwu
Midfielder
46'
14
Felix Addo
Midfielder
81'
9
Kingsley Eduwo
Midfielder
70'
15
CARDS
Vincent Adaeh Antigah
Defender
17'
5
Friday Ubong John
Midfielder
25'
17
Vincent Adaeh Antigah
Defender
90'
5
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