Monday, February 06, 2012

Gabon out, Ghana in

Mali made it to the semifinal of the Africa Cup of Nations after defeating the co-hosts Gabon on penalty kicks. Gabon played a good match with massive home support that included Gabon's long-time president Omar Bongo. It was an intense match where Gabon took the lead early in the second half by Eric Mouloungui. But with only seven minutes left Bordeaux striker Cheick Diabate equalized for Mali, and the match went into extra time, and eventually, penalties. In particular Mali's players were extraordinarily cool, and made it look very easy on every one of their shots. For the disappointed Gabonese, their only miss was by their young star, St. Etienne striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Surely a disappointment for the youngster, whom I am nevertheless sure we will hear more about.
But you should have seen Mr. Bongo's face when Aubameyang missed the penalty....

The other quarterfinal today was between Ghana and Mali, which turned out a not too pretty match with some very dirty play by the Tunisians towards the end.
Ghana took an early lead by captain John Mensah, but Tunisia equalized before halftime by Saber Khelifa. The match also had to go into extra time, and it undoubtedly looked like another round of penalty kicks until the Tunisian goalkeeper, Aymen Mathlouthi, made a huge mistake, when he could not hold a rather easy ball which instead fell to Andre Ayew, who could easily score Ghana's winner.

Both semifinals on next Wednesday will be very exciting matches:
  • Ghana-Zambia
  • Cote d'Ivoire-Mali

And I support GHANA!

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