If Senegal and Morocco being eliminated during the group stage was considered as the surprise of the tournament, what can be said of the fact that Ghana lost to Zambia in the semi-final?
Huge shock! In the second semi-final Ivory Coast beat Mali, although by a modest score.
Ghana, one of the favorites for the tournament, started attacking from the very start of the match but they lacked accuracy. They even failed to convert a penalty (the player who missed was incidentally the same player who missed a penalty in the semi-final versus Uruguay at the last World Cup). Ghana’s domination was total in terms of possession, corners and shots on goal. However, the defensively strong Zambia team took the lead 15 minutes before the end of the game. Ghana failed to equalize especially after one of their players was sent off.
After the game the Ghana players shook their heads in disbelief, and some were in tears. The Zambia players on the other hand were happy and dancing in the center of the pitch long after the game ended.
In the second semi-final the Mali players were hoping that history would repeat itself. Ivory Coast, probably keeping in mind what happened to Ghana, totally dominated the game without allowing Mali to counter-attack.Didier Drogba and Yaya and Kolo Toure had shots on goal but they either missed by inches or hit the post. Suddenly, just before half-time, Gervinho decided to go on a solo run from the halfway line and scored. Ivory Coast were exuberant, and Mali seemed to lose hope of getting a positive result. In the second half, Ivory Coast were constantly attacking and at the same time they defended steadfastly at the back and as a result they will play for the title.
On Saturday Ghana will play Mali for third place. Ghana are favorites, and they already beat their opponents 2-0 during the group stage. On Sunday we will know the champions of Africa. What do you think? Do Zambia stand a chance of an historic success or will this golden Ivory Coast team get their long-awaited title?
Article written by Marek WAJDA