Ghana produce late flurry to finish third

Hosts Ghana scored three times in the last 20 minutes to beat Côte d’Ivoire 4-2 to finish third in the Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday.

Boubacar Sanogo, making his first start of the tournament, scored twice in nine minutes to give Côte d’Ivoire a 2-1 half-time lead.

Quincy Owusu-Abeyie equalised in the 70th minute before goals from Junior Agogo and Haminu Dramani gave the hosts an impressive win.

The win sparked wild celebrations among a near capacity crowd. The match was played in an atmosphere far removed from the usual day-after feeling of the third-place game.

Ghana drew first blood in the 10th minute when Sulley Muntari scored with a 25m free kick that keeper Tiasse Kone got a hand to but could not stop flying into the top corner of his goal.

Sanogo equalised in the 24th minute when he latched on to a perfectly timed pass from Emerse Fae and scored with a low shot into the far corner.

He struck again eight minutes later, stabbing home the rebound after Didier Drogba’s effort was saved by Richard Kingson, who minutes earlier had foiled both players with a double save.

Sanogo nearly completed a hat-trick in the 39th minute but his shot struck the underside of the crossbar from Drogba’s pass as Côte d’Ivoire threatened to run away with the game.

The pace dropped after half-time as Côte d’Ivoire eased up while Ghana looked short of ideas in midfield.

However, as hundreds of moths descended on the Baba Yara Stadium, Owusu-Abeyie equalised in the 70th minute when he accelerated through the Ivorian defence and slipped the ball past Kone.

Agogo latched on to Michael Essien’s pass to put Ghana ahead in the 80th minute and Dramani added the fourth with a 25m shot that took a wicked bounce four minutes later.—Reuters

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