Libya 0-0 Ghana (4-3 PSO): Mediterranean Knights win first continental silverware
Libya beat Ghana on penalties to lift the third edition of the CHAN tournament in South Africa on Saturday night
By Umar-Farouk Atipaga
The match ended goalless after 120 minutes, so the two teams needed the shootouts to determine the winner.
Ghana’s Michael Akuffo, Abeiku Aninson and Joshua Tijani missed their kicks.
At a point, it looked like a straight victory for the Mediterranean Knights after the Black Stars’ first two penalty takers wasted their kicks.
But it took Stephen Adams to put the west Africans in the game after pulling two crucial saves to take the scoreline to 3-3 after all five kicks were exhausted.
However, Tijani failed to extend the battle beyond the sixth kick after failing to convert his.
Ghana were chasing their first title at the senior level in 32 years while the north Africans were aiming at their first continental crown ever.
Interestingly, the last time Ghana won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1982, they beat Libya in the final in Tripoli.
But history could not repeat itself as Javier Clemente’s team snatched the trophy this time around.
The two teams met at the group stage and settled for a 1-1 draw. This was the third straight penalty shootout encounter for the Libyans right from the quarter finals to the grand finale.
Ghana who missed out on the gold medal at the inaugural competition in Ivory Coast in 2009 can boast of some discoveries for the Black Stars ahead of the World Cup.
Goalkeeper Adams who was praised by Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi produced an outstanding performance worthy of consideration for the vacant number three slot in the Black Stars set-up.
Defenders Nuru Sulley and Kwabena Adusei also did well during “auditioning” process.
Rwanda will host the next edition in 2016. ------------------ goal.com