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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 19:03 GMT
Final and third place

By Ben Wyatt

Ghana celebrate their win
Ghana celebrate their third-place win over Ivory Coast
Hosts Ghana came from behind to claim a consolation third-place finish at the Africa Cup of Nations after beating Ivory Coast in a six-goal thriller.

Sulley Muntari's swerving 25-yard free-kick gave Ghana the lead on 10 minutes before Ivorian Boubacar Sanogo hit back with a quick-fire brace.

Quincy Owusu-Abeyie's equalised after half-time with a solo effort before Junior Agogo struck on 80 minutes.

Ghana's Hamanu Draman then sealed the win with a 25-yard shot on 85 minutes.


It is the best continental campaign for Ghana since they finished as runners-up at the 1992 Nations Cup held in Senegal.

Though the game was a non-event for many, the local crowd in Kumasi turned out in numbers to see their beloved Ghana play, in what many had hoped would be the two teams contesting the final.

And they witnessed a goalscoring feast as two of the pre-tournament favourites scrapped for the consolation prize.

Another superb goal was added to the list of crackers from this year's Nations Cup after only 10 minutes.

Didier Drogba
Drogba on the charge for the Elephants of Ivory Coast

Muntari let rip with a 25-yard free-kick that swerved round the defensive wall and into the top corner, past a helpless Tiasse Kone.

The Elephants, driven on by captain Didier Drogba, were not to be outdone though, and they were soon back in the game when Kader Keita showed great vision to play a through ball to Sanogo.

The Werder Bremen-man strode into the Black Stars' box to place his shot past Kingson from 15 yards to equalise for the Elephants.

Sanogo's effort was the 94th goal of the 2008 tournament and made the Ghana event the highest scoring in Africa Cup of Nations' history.

The game was now dominated by the men in orange and a great double save was needed from Kingson to deny Salomon Kalou, who shot from the edge of the area, and then Drogba who pounced on the rebound with 30 minutes gone.

Drogba forced another save from Kingson again seconds later, but this time there was no stopping the rebound as Sanogo stretched to direct the ball in and claim his second.

The game was wonderfully open and Sanogo was only denied his hat-trick by the Ghanaian crossbar which he rattled on 38 minutes.

Ghana started the second half keen to get back on level terms, with Draman proving a thorn in the Ivorian's side on the right flank.
Didier Drogba
Didier Drogba celebrates his side taking the lead in Kumasi

But the game's pace dropped markedly from the first half with a paucity of goal-scoring opportunities.

Then with 20 minutes left to play Owusu-Abeyie picked up the ball in the centre of the pitch and sprinted past two Ivorian defenders into the area to slot home and make it 2-2.

With penalties looming, the Kumasi Stadium was alive with cheers again and bizarrely suffered an invasion of insects that choked Michael Essien amongst others.

Agogo then bagged his third of the tournament when he was played through with a clever pass from Essien to complete the simplest of finishes from 10 yards.

Draman then put the icing on the cake when he cut in from the flank and shot from twenty yards out, only for his shot to take a wicked bounce off the turf to beat the diving Kone.

Ghana: Kingson, Sarpei, Pantsil, Mensah, Addo (Barusso 90), Annan, Essien, Muntari, Draman (Afful 89), Agogo, Baffour (Quincy 20).
Subs Not Used: Adjei, Gyan, Kingston, Asamoah, Ayew, Kumordzi, Dauda, Asare, Alhassan.

Goals: Muntari 10, Quincy 70, Agogo 80, Draman 85.

Ivory Coast: Tiassa Kone, Boka, Zoro, Fae (Dindane 83), Romaric, Tiene, Zokora, Sanogo, Kalou (Gervinho 73), Drogba, Keita (Toure Yaya 64).
Subs Not Used: Barry, Toure, Gohouri, Arouna Kone, Meite, Bakari Kone, Loboue, Djakpa, Eboue.

Goals: Sanogo 24, 32.

Ref: Jerome Damon (South Africa).

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