On this day in 2008: Cameroon defeated Ghana to reach African Cup of Nations final

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On this day, February 7th in 2008 (12 years ago), Ghana lost to Cameroon by 1-0 in the African Cup of Nations semifinal which was hosted by Ghana. The fixture was played at the Accra Sports Stadium. The Black Stars were hoping to make the final for the first time since 1992, but had their dreams crashed in the 70th minute by Alain Nkong.

Ghana came into the game without skipper John Mensah who picked up a red card in the previous game against Nigeria. Ghana was also without Laryea Kingston and Striker Asamoah Gyan, both were injured.

Ghana’s Line-up: Richard Kingson (GK); Hans Sarpei, John Paintsil, Eric Addo, Anthony Annan, Haminu Dramani, Andre Ayew (Ahmed Barusso 86), Michael Essien (C), Junior Agogo, Sulley Muntari, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Baffour Gyan 61).

Cameroon’s Line-up: Idriss Carlos Kameni (GK); Geremi Njitap, Rigobert Song (C), Timothee Atouba, Andre Bikey, Achille Emana (Augustin Binya 77), Alexandre Song, Stephane Mbia, Joseph Desire Job (Alain Nkong 62), Samuel Eto’o, Mohamadou Idrissou (Joel Epalle 46).

The Black Stars had virtually everyone in the Stadium cheering them. The fully packed Stadium was brightened by the Black Star, the red, yellow and green colors of Ghana. Ghana started the game brightly and nearly went ahead in the 5th minute, Eric Addo failed to connect with an inch perfect freekick from Sulley Muntari.

3 minutes later, the Cameroonians had their first sniff at the Ghana goal, Achille Emana’s effort was cleared off the line by Hans Sarpei. The referee had already whistled for a foul by Samuel E’too on Richard Kingston.

The Cameroonian’s went close again in the 21st minute, Achille Emana fired a half-volley close to the Ghana 18 yard box over the bar.

The Cameroonians continued to pressure Ghana, Geremi Njitab came close to breaking the deadlock with a rasping freekick from more than 30 yards, his effort struck the crossbar. Goalkeeper Richard Kingson was caught ball watching.

With seconds to go to the break, Dede Ayew connected with a long cross from Sulley Muntari, but his effort was over the bar.

The first half ended scoreless.

Ghana after the recess stepped their game up, Anthony Annan in the 59th minute fired a shot over the bar.

The Black Stars continued to dominate the game, the next opportunity fell to Dede Ayew in the 69th minute, he received a pass in the box, but his effort which was goal bound was cleared by a Geremi Njitab header.

Cameroon stunned the home fans a minute later, Samuel Eto’o played Alain Nkong on goal, he coolly slotted his effort beyond the onrushing Richard Kingston.

Ghana from then were presented with an opportunities to pull parity. Junior Agogo couldn’t finish a half chance, he was sent 1 on 1 with goalkeeper Idriss Kameni, but Kameni was quick off his line to salvage the situation. Agogo was minute later presented with another chance, but he couldn’t keep his header down.

Ghana had a last minute freekick to equalize, Ahmed Barusso had the hopes of a nation resting on his shoulder, he skied his shot over the bar. Patently one of the most disappointing moment in the life of most Ghanaians.

The game ended in controversial circumstances, Andre Bikey pushed over a medical worker who was attending to his injured team mate Rigobert Song. He was shown a red card.

Ghana lost the game by 1-0. Cameroon went on to lose in the final to Egypt by 1-0. Ghana finished 3rd after beating neighbors Côte d’Ivoire by 4-2.

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