The Local Black Stars’ gallatry ensured they marched on to a 4-1 shoot-out victory over Nigeria to confirm Ghana’s superiority over the West African rivals.
Stephen Adams and Asiedu Attobrah hogged the headlines at the Free State Stadium after a ten-man Ghana side managed to hold Stephen Keshie’s men throughout the regulation minutes in a 0-0 stalemate before marching on to a 4-1 triumph on shoot-out.
Though Abeiku Ainooson won the Man-of-the-Match award.
GHANAsoccernet.com rates the performance of Maxwell Konadu’s men.
Stephen Adams – 7.5
What a tournament he has had in South Africa. Ghana’s subsequent shoot-out victory can solely be credited to agility. The Aduana Stars shot-stopper pulled an unbelievable stop in extra-time added-time to help Ghana stay in the game.
He has put himself in strong contention for a place in Kwesi Appiah’s final squad for the 2014 World Cup as he now poses a considerable challenge to Fatau Dauda and Adam Kwarasey.
Abeiku Ainooson – 7
After Kwabena Adusei’s sending off, the Asante Kotoko full-back came to live in the game as he had to multi-task. He was powerfully strong in tackles and not afraid to get forward and also treated the Nigerian forward lines with a fist of iron.
Tijani Joshua – 7
Combining duties in a difficult game like this always demand something special and dedication and the All Stars defender made a big statement about his ability. Slotted effortlessly into the centre of the back four, showing good understanding with Nuru Sule after Adusei’s dismissal. Great player!
Nuru Sule – 7
Saw two of his free headers directed waywards from inside the Nigerian box. Calmness personified at the heart of Ghana’s backline during late second-half onslaught but was strong and efficient in his tackles. Did not shirk challenge of keeping the Nigerian strikeforce quiet.
Kwabena Adusei – 5
The Asante Kotoko defender’s fate was always clear from the start. He went into tackles with suicidal strength and his challenges were really reckless.
Picked bookings in either halves and got kicked out of the game by the Zambian referee.
Michael Akuffo – 7
Inspirer! Exceptional from the penalty spot. At his best bombing forward from Ghana’s midfield especially in the first half but limited to defending in most parts of the second-half and the extra-time.
Took leadership responsibilities after Jordan Opoku was replaced.
Jordan Opoku – 6.5
The Asante Kotoko midfielder capped a superb performance from midfield with his exceptional defence-splitting passes. Powerful box-to-box display.
Asiedu Attobrah – 8
Undoubtedly Ghana’s best performer on the night. The New Edubiase man had something special on the offer. His well-struck penalty handed victory to Ghana after the Nigerians have missed twice. After Ghana’s numerical disadvantage, it was Attobrah who made the difference.
Theophilus Anobaah – 7
The former Ghana U17 invitee had fearlessness in his game from midfield. He never shrunk going forward and took the battle to his opposition and won most of them. He created the spaces and won vital set-pieces for Ghana.
Yahaya Mohammed – 6
It won’t be unfair to say he overworked himself in the game. Obviously the tactical ploy failed to work with Seidu Bancey who was playing a supporting role from a behind-striker role.
The Asante Kotoko man had to drop to the midfield to create space for himself which sapped his energy. Forced out of the game with injury.
Seidu Bancey – 5.5
Not what Ghana fans expected to see from the Ghana Premier League leading scorer. Not the most productive of nights for the Kotoko man. Although plenty of running into space, he often found himself well marshalled by the Nigerian defence.
Subs: Samuel Afful – 5, Latif Mohammed – 5.5, Sulley Mohammed – 5