Ghana’s Black Stars have emerged champions of the 2017 Wafu Cup of Nations after dispatching their rivals Nigeria 4-1 at the Cape Coast Stadium on Sunday.
Maxwell Konadu’s men left no one in doubt from the outset as they put in an intense performance in a game that looked scrappy in the early exchanges.
It was a fairly open game in the first 15 minutes as Emmanuel Lomotey’s effort for Ghana sailed over the bar.
Ghana then began to assert themselves in the game with Isaac Twum, Stephen Sarfo and Essua Winful Cobbinah involved in trying to invent things for Ghana going forward.
With Nigeria failing to keep the ball for so long like they did in the first meeting with the Wafu Cup hosts, Anthony Okpotu cut a lone figure upfront.
It did not take long before the game produced the first goal. Sarfo held the ball so well at the edge of boz with the Nigerian defence ball-watching and the player simply swung his leg at the ball to guide it home on 44 minutes as they took a goal lead.
Ghana seized the intiative in the second half and barely allowed Nigeria the sniff of the ball, not to talk of time and space.
One man who came off the bench to change the contest was Patrick Razak. First he won Ghana a spot kick after referee ruled he was stopped illegal.
Centre-back Vincent Atingah calmly tucked away the spot kick to give Ghana a 2-0.
On 78 minutes, Razak causing the Nigeria backfour was tripped in the box and Stephen Sarfo made no mistake in converting the spot kick to make the scoreline safe.
There was still more drama to follow. Ghana centre-back Vincent Atingah was sent off for a second yellow card offence and it looked like Nigeria have been given a way back in order to prepare for the party.
Cobbinah added a fourth goal as the Black Stars in stoppage time of second half despite their numerical advantage.
A late Rabiu Ali strike from a free kick to reduce the tally. Ali’s goal proved too little, too late but only represented scant consolation.
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’).
Coach: Maxwell Konadu
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’).
Coach: Salisu Yusuf
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