Déjà vu as Cameroon deny Ghana final place
Cameroon repeated their 2008 feat to knock out Ghana in the semi final of the AFCON
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Goals from Michael Ngadeu and Christian Bassogog made gave Hugo Broos' Indomitable Lions a 2-0 win, ending the Black Stars' hopes of playing in a record 10th AFCON final.
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Cameroon was the stronger side in the opening minutes, turning on the heat to make Ghana sweat. On eight minutes, heavyset centerback Adolphe Teikeu met a cross with a powerful header that was instinctively cleared off the line by Ghana right back Harrison Afful.
Just a few minutes later, captain Benjamin Moukanjo whipped a sharp low cross into the Ghana box, the ball met immediately by target man Robert Ndip Tambe who forced a reflex save from underfire Ghana goalie Razak Brimah with a shot from eight yards out.
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Brimah was called to action by Tambe again 10 minutes later, saving a low header off a cross from Collins Fai.
It took Ghana, playing in a record sixth consecutive AFCON semi, 24 minutes to get their first shot, Jordan Ayew blasting way off high and off target in the box after persistent work from overlapping center-back Daniel Amartey to set him up.
Another shot came three minutes afterwards, Mubarak Wakaso firing low and wide from 30 yards - Avram Grant's side were by this time settling into the game.
Jordan Ayew must have cursed himself for shooting across the Cameroonian goal rather than into it when he was put through by a brilliant Christian Atsu through ball on 39 minutes, although the angle was fairly tight for the 25-year-old to get around.
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Ghana picked up where they left off, starting the second half with onslaughts - Frank Acheampong run down the left and crossED dangerously across goal, the ball begging without success for a connection.
Young Cameroon goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa did well to get a hand unto Mubarak Wakaso's freekick on 60th minutes, with Wakaso's midfield partner Thomas Partey shooting wide from 20 yards minutes later.
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Cameroon, though, would have the first word on 71 minutes, when Ghana defender John Boye got in the way of his onrushing goalkeeper Brimah during a freekick in flight, the ball falling behind for Cameroon's Michael Ngadeu to plant the ball in the net.
Ghana could have pulled back just three minutes later when Harrison Afful cut back on the right, but Jordan Ayew shot wide of Ondoa's near post.
Avram Grant's men went all out for the equalizer, Cameroon's physical, resolute and disciplined defense mounting a frustrating resistance.
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The Black Stars, frustrated and weary, gave in at the death when they left their defence in sixes and sevens during one of their attacks. Cameroon expectedly pounced with a swift counter to finish off the game through speedy 21-year-old winger Christian Bassogog, who knicked the ball past Brimah on a one-on-one.
The four-time champions, who are now unbeaten against Ghana in four AFCON games since 1982, progress to the final in Libreville on Sunday, where they will meet Egypt in what will be a repeat of the 2008 final.