AFCON: Gargantuan Ghana take on Equatorial Guinea in semi-final
Nobody would have thought that tournament hosts Equatorial Guinea would have come as far as they have. Against Ghana they are 7/4 outsiders with Coral to upset the odds, though are bound to give it a good go.
Herve Renard’s side needed extra time to beat Tunisia 2-1 and looked like being eliminated until stoppage time when Javier Balboa dispatched a 93rd minute penalty. He then followed this with another strike 12 minutes into extra time. Balboa, once on the books of Real Madrid, is now the tournament joint-top scorer on three goals, and is good value at 16/5 to net again anytime in the semis.
Ghana brushed aside next opponents’ little brother Guinea 3-0 in their quarter-final tie, with Chelsea-owned Christian Atsu the star of the show, bagging a brace, while Kwesi Appiah’s strike was sandwiched in between. The on-loan Everton winger is 7/2 to net anytime, and Crystal Palace attacker Appiah has odds of 5/1 to net the first goal.
Black Stars striker Asamoah Gyan only has one goal to his name at this year’s AFCON tournament, though if given the opportunity will put the ball in the back of the net, which is why he is 4/1 to break the deadlock. It might have been a different story for Ghana this tournament, after losing their first group game 2-1 to Senegal. Since, they have a 100 per cent record, having gone on to win every game.
Avram Grant, who came close to winning a treble with Chelsea in 2007/08, when the club finished second in the Premier League and also lost the final of the League Cup and Champions League, said his Black Stars side have been taking it one game at a time.
“We prepare game by game. We did a lot of preparation for this game, and now we start to prepare for Equatorial Guinea,” Grant told the media. “In a tournament like this it is very difficult to play against the home team, but every game is a challenge. I think they will feel good because they are playing at home.”