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Page last updated at 19:20 GMT, Saturday, 9 February 2008


Ghana 4-2 Ivory Coast


To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on +447786 202008. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Chris Whyatt

1916: So yeah, it's Cameroon v Egypt in Sunday's glittering showpiece in Accra. We'll be kicking off the e-commentary at 1630 for a 1700 kick off - and already the tension is building. Another breathless game today, so get some rest.

By this time tomorrow we'll have crowned the new Kings of African football. Ciao.

1915: "Hopefully this game is only half-as-good as the final will be tomorrow."
dirk-kuyt18 on 606

That will take some doing Dirk - but let's hope so.

1911: "Termites are yummy!"
redandblackT(1899 was a vintage year)

1908: "Where were these flies and mosquitoes when Ghana played Cameroon? At least they would have brought us some goals when we needed them the most"
Anonymous via text

1905: "What happened to Ivory Coast's usually tight defence?"
Dolapo via text

Ghana are doing their 'Walk Like an Egyptian' celebration in front of a baying crowd in Kumasi after their three-goal salvo in 15 explosive second-half minutes turned the game on its head. Tournament over for the host nation - but they'll be looking ahead to the 2010 World Cup now.

Claude LeRoy is hugging Didier Drogba like a long-lost son. And then congratulates his own players via the media and races off into the night.

1855: "Thank god this silly tournament is coming to an end!"
I_Smacked_Dida on 606

I'm definitely going to assume that's a tongue-in-check comment. All hail ACON: it's been a classic. Bring on the final.

1851: St John's Ambulance are on as they tend to a cramp-ridden Eric Addo. Felt very sorry for his victim, but these Andre Bikey jokes are wearing thin.

Nearly over now on the pitch as Ghana press forward.

Ivory Coast fail to close down Haminu Draman who strolls forward to unleash a speculative 25-yard shot which takes a horrendous bounce over Tiasse Kone into the goal. Bit fortunate that - but where was the marking?

Ivory Coast claim offside but Junior Agogo - clearly on - slots home his third ACON 2008 goal after being played in by Michael Essien, who wasn't subbed after all. Turns out he was struggling to ward off the mosquitos but eventually won that battle with nature.

1840: It's straight to penalties should the 90 minutes finish level. Hats off to my alert colleague who just double-checked the Caf rules to confirm that nugget.

Horrible shot from Hans Sarpei as the noise becomes defeaning in Kumasi.

1836: "Very strange. Huge numbers of mosquitos and flies have just invaded the stadium."
BBC World Service's Inas Mazhar

Kalou is replaced by Gervinho.

Truly stunning burst of pace from Quincy Owusu-Abeyie who picks up the ball 40 yards out and speeds past three Ivory Coast defenders into the box to slot past Tiasse Kone. Speedy Gonzalez would not have kept up with him there.

1831: That Egypt whipped Ivory Coast says a lot about the Pharaohs. The Elephants really are a top side. They keep possession when they need to and spring incisive attacks when the moment is right.

Agogo finds space in the box but Zakora fouls and the danger is cleared.

1829: "Tunisia 1994 was the best ACON. The stadia were excellent, football was wonderful & Nigeria were deserving champions, sweeping away all the opposition with ease and flair."
kentonye on 606

1824: Didier Zakora is rolling around in pain now after the colossal Junior Agogo shoves him to the turf. On trots Yaya Toure for Abdelkader Keita as younger brother and fellow substitute Kolo looks on with a hint of jealousy. Stilted action on the pitch.

1820: Clash of heads between Boubacar Sanogo and Eric Addo so the medical trolley and nurses trundle on. Thankfully, no Andre Bikey in sight. The Elephants goal-hero winces with pain as he clasps a very fetching ice-filled tea-towel to his pulsating brain.

1815: Haminu Draman is causing a bit of trouble down the right wing but the Elephants are standing strong. Plays for Locomotiv Moscow, the Ghana flyer. You lot are majorly debating these Top Five Left Foot's on the 606, huh...... Liam Brady, Puskas, etc.

1809: The Legend of (Marc) Zoro was down after taking a knock on his adam's apple - but the great man gets back up. Darkness has fallen in Kumasi and the floodlights create shadows around the sweat-soaked players as Essien smashes a wild shot into the crowd.

1807: Second-half is agogo.

1805: Bustling markets, dusty construction, lush greenery, smiling faces, football flags and banners being sold on street corners.

This evening's match is in Kumasi and to get a real flavour of an intoxicating city (with DJ Edu), website users can explore the link below.

1800:"Top five left feet: 1.maradona 2.kempes 3.suker 4.recoba 5.MUNTARI."
redandblackT(1899 was a vintage year) on 606

Relentless action is brought to a stop (for 15 minutes) by our South African referee and the players troop off with chests apumping. Fast, furious, quality football.

Time to trawl your memory banks. Is this the best ACON ever?

1748: Penalty appeals aplenty - in Kumasi, in this office - as Kalou is barged over in the box when poised to shoot. But the referee waves play on. Muntari tries another long-range power-blaster which zooms just inches over the bar. Great game.

1742: So close to a first-half hat-trick for Boubacar Sanogo as his clipped shot over Kingson's body hits the bar and comes back out to be cleared. Again, Drogba played him in and with all these deft touches is proving a masterful creator - as well as a superb battering ram.

1741: ACON 2008 is officially a record-breaker. This tournament has smashed the previous total goals record of 93 (set in Burkino Faso in 1998): we now have 95 and there's still plenty of action to come.

Siaka Tiene crosses for Didier Drogba whose shot is saved - but not held - by Kingson and Boubacar Sanogo dribbles the ball over the line. Drobga is dropping deep to devastating effect.

1735: Richard Kingson makes an superb double save from Drogba and Kalou, both granite-strong stops in the space of seconds.

1732: "Whatever happens today and tomorrow. Africa can be proud of putting on a great show. The football has been great, the goals have been breath taking at times. I have watched and enjoyed almost every single game. It seems to be attacking football the whole time. Great tournament"
nigeweir (in Norway) on 606

100% agree fella. By the way, that outstanding assist for Sanogo was from Abdelkader Keita. It just asked questions which the Ghana defence could not answer.

Boubacar Sanogo latches onto a piercing through-ball, legally barges John Mensah out of his way, and then batters the ball low and hard past Richard Kingson into the corner of the goal. Simple.

1724: Just to confirm, Baffour Gyan and Asamoah Gyan are brothers. Let's call them the Gyan brothers, yeah. Baffour is given the nod today: short on goals, Asamoah has been under huge pressure all tournament.

1722: Silk and steel. Drogba brings the ball down out of the sky on his toes just like Dimitar Berbatov does every game for Spurs but, all muscle and anticipation, John Mensah steps in and steals it.

Would Ghana be in the final if Mensah had played against Cameroon?

1718: Clever scoop forward from Haminu Dramani to play in Michael Essien who takes far too long to get his shot off. When he does, subsequently, it's blocked.

Around 25 yards out, Sulley Muntari slashes his left-foot across the face of the ball to unleash a rocket of a free-kick which Tiasse Kone's fingertips can't stop from reaching the top corner of his goal. Wow. That boy can strike a ball.

1714: Rhythmic drums, eccentric trumpet solos, and barmy cheers. Ear-splitting noise in Kumasi...

1710: How did the Elephants not score? Real chance for Saloman Kalou after a superb ball from Didier Drogba but the former's shot is saved well by Richard Kingson and, as the ball bounces out, Kalou makes a mess of the rebound.

1708: "I think the organisers have decided to make more tickets available for this game as there are many locals here. It is probably the best attended match I have been to during my time in Ghana."
BBC World Service's Inas Mazhar in Kumasi

1704: Anthems sorted, the players embrace, South African referee Jerome Damon blows his whistle - and we're under way.

John 'Rock of Gibraltar' Mensah returns for Ghana while Baffour Gyan replaces his namesake Asamoah in attack. Didier Drogba continues to lead the Elephants, who are missing Kolo Toure.

Ghana: 22-Richard Kingson; 4-John Paintsil, 5-John Mensah, 2-Hans Sarpei; 6-Anthony Annan, 8-Michael Essien, 18-Eric Addo, 11-Sulley Muntari, 23-Haminu Dramani; 9-Junior Agogo, 13-Baffour Gyan

Ivory Coast: 23-Tiasse Kone; 7-Emerse Fae, 22-Marc Zoro, 13-Christian Koffi Ndri, 3-Arthur Boka; 5-Didier Zokora, 18-Abdelkader Keita, 8-Salomon Kalou, 17-Siaka Tiene; 11-Didier Drogba, 2-Boubacar Sanogo

1652: If, as the Special One predicts, an African team is to reach a 2010 World Cup semi-final then West African neighbours Ghana and Ivory Coast would have to be two of the favourites to do so. And today's game should be a belter. Don't you think amigos?

1647: And none other than Jose Mourinho agrees.

"At this Nations Cup, we have seen two great semi-finals. The level is very good and this has to be so when you know that most of these teams have several players playing at the top level in Europe."

"Now Africa is ready to take the next stage. By next stage I don't mean win the World Cup, that would be too drastic. But an African team could get to the quarter-finals or even the semi-finals."

1642: But enough negativity. Whether it matters - and whether we can enjoy it - are two totally different things. So let's enjoy.

No doubt, the idolised Michael Essien and new hero Junior Agogo will be pumped up to prove that Ghana should be playing tomorrow.

And Ivory Coast - ripped apart by Egypt - will be looking to heal their wounds and simply ooze class when on song.

What I think it proves, when you look at the bigger picture, is that African football is in the rudest of health.

1635: Akwaaba - welcome - to the final that everybody (bar Cameroon and Egypt) wanted. In the deformed shape of a third-place play-off.

Host nation Ghana desperately wanted to make the final on home soil - and I'm sure tournament organisers Caf thought likewise. Didn't happen. Most of the (largely European-led) media purred over the Ivory Coast's Premier League stars and rushed to predict that the Elephants would emerge winners. Didn't happen.

So what we are left with is a massive game - sort of - between two teams fighting for the most inconsequential of prizes.

If winning is everything, and second is nothing - then what's third place I ask you? Please, tell me. Does this match matter?

see also
Ghana 4-2 Ivory Coast
09 Feb 08 |  African
Africa Cup of Nations photos
09 Feb 08 |  African
Ghana v Ivory Coast
08 Feb 08 |  African
Ivory Coast 1-4 Egypt
07 Feb 08 |  African
2008 Cup of Nations qualifying
20 Oct 07 |  African

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