Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cote d’Ivoire vs Ghana Africa Cup of Nations Final 08-02-2015

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Cote d’Ivoire vs Ghana - Competition: Africa Cup of Nations Final

Cote d’Ivoire team have been the dominant team at the Africa Cup this year, shrugging off a slow start that saw them enter their final group stage match in danger of being eliminated. But an excellent defensive performance saw them conquer Cameroon 1:0 to set up a much-anticipated clash with Algeria. The North Africans had staked their claim as the top team in Africa with an excellent World Cup showing, but with Wilfried Bony absolutely dominating the pitch right now for club and country, there is certainly no more talented team in the whole continent. The Man City signing has scored 2 goals and provided 2 assists through both of their knockout round fixtures, while Gervinho is also finding his feet and making an impact from the wing. However, the engine that keeps this team running is Yaya Toure, and the Black Stars will find it difficult to keep the midfielder from dictating play here. But Ghana should be able to put some pressure on the Ivorians, whose defence admittedly has question marks. This shouldn’t be a repeat of the 0:0 final when these nations met in the 1992 title match, though another round of penalty kicks wouldn’t be surprising. But with an all-star cast and Wilfried Bony seemingly unable to do any wrong at the moment, the advantage here lies with the Elephants who are seeking just their second-ever Africa Cup trophy.
Ghana team were hardly dominant in their group stage matches, though topping the labeled “Group of Death” was no small feat, and it’s evident the confidence gained from their come-from-behind 2:1 win over South Africa. Captain Andre Ayew, arguably this team’s most talented player was the man of the match against Bafana Bafana, as he provided the assist for the equalizer and then found the back of the net for the match-winning goal. That win set up a date with Guinea in the quarter-finals, where the favorites proceeded to smash them 3:0 behind a top-drawer display from Christian Atsu. Then, after a largely-uneventful first 40 minutes against the tournament hosts, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana pulled off the handbrake and smashed them with 2 goals before halftime to set up the eventual 3:0 victory. This is a dangerous team that can score goals, and against a side that has conceded at least once in 5 of their last 6 matches (friendlies included), they should be able to create opportunities on Sunday. However, when all is said and done the Ghanaians should find themselves on the wrong end of the scoreline, falling to their 3rd- consecutive defeat when making it to the AFCON title match. It’s important to note that Asamoah Gyan could be forced to sit through injury, though the manager will likely force him into action if there is any chance for him. 

Cote d’Ivoire last 5 matches:
20/01/15 Côte d’Ivoire 1 – 1 Guinea
24/01/15 Côte d’Ivoire 1 – 1 Mali
28/01/15 Cameroon 0 – 1 Côte d’Ivoire
01/02/15 Côte d’Ivoire 3 – 1 Algeria
04/02/15 Congo DR 1 – 3 Côte d’Ivoire

Ghana last 5 matches:
19/01/15 Ghana 1 – 2 Senegal
23/01/15 Ghana 1 – 0 Algeria
27/01/15 South Africa 1 – 2 Ghana
01/02/15 Ghana 3 – 0 Guinea
05/02/15 Ghana 3 – 0 Equatorial Guinea

Match date: 8 February 2015
Kick Off Time: 19:00 GMT
Venue: Estadio de Bata (Bata, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of)  

You can watch the match here: Link 1 , Link 2 [Live Scores]



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