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2017 WAFU Cup of Nations

Ghana Crowned 2017 WAFU Cup Champions After Humbling Nigeria

The Black Stars of Ghana were crowned 2017 WAFU Cup of Nations champions after beating rivals Nigeria 4-1, in the final at Cape Coasts Sports Stadium on Sunday, September 24.

A brace from man-of-the-match Stephen Sarfo, a penalty from Vincent Atingah and an injury time strike from Winnful Cobbinah was all the home-based Ghanaian side needed to add to their 2013 title.

With a 2-0 group-stage loss to Nigeria at the back of their minds, Ghana started the game carefully, not venturing too far ahead as they settled to gain momentum, with its first real effort coming in after the 15th minute but Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa was up for the challenge.

Nigeria soon suffered a major setback in the 40th minute after defender Olamilekan Adeleye Aniyikaye left the pitch injured. He was replaced by Emmanuel Ariwachukwu but it was visibly evident that the Nigerian defense had lost a pillar.

They soon conceded the first goal before the break thanks to Stephen Sarfo’s  44th-minute effort from a well-drilled low-shot to the blind side of Ezenwa to put the score at 1-0.

Ghana went on to double its lead in the 60th minute with a well-taken spot kick after substitute Patrick Razak was brought down in the box. Sarfo soon made it 3-0 for Ghana from the penalty spot after Razak, was once again recklessly fouled by Stephen Eze inside the box.

In the 91st minute, Ghana’s Atingah was sent off for picking up his second yellow card but that didn’t slow the black stars down. Cobbinah finished off a pass from Razak to make it 4-0 in the third minute of extra-time despite having a man less.

Nigeria did find some consolation with a goal in the 95th minute, a 22-yard free-kick from Rabiu Ali which found the top corner of the net, but it was a little too late.

Champions, Ghana will receive a cash prize of $100,000, while the home-based and second-placed Eagles get $50,000.
Ghana   4                (Stephen Sarfo 44’ + ,78’ (pen), Atingah 60’ (pen), Cobbinah 93’)
Nigeria  1                (Ali 95’)


Coach: Maxwell Konadu

  1. J Addo, 2. Frimpong, 12. S Sarfo, 5. Atingah, 6. Abbey, 10. Cobbinah, 18. Lomotey, 7. Twum, 8. Waja (17. Razak 57’), 15. K Sarfo (9. Addo 81’), 13. Kizito (14. Adams 68’)


Coach: Salisu Yusuf

  1. Ezenwa, 2. Okoro, 6. Eze, 12. Aniyikaye (5. Ariwachukwu 40’), 3. Akas, 4. Aremu, 8. Ifeanyi, 7. Friday (14. Okechukwu 46’), 11. P Moses, 10. Ali, 9. Okpotu (18. Eduwo 70’).




Featured Photo: Getty Images

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