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Africa Cup of Nations

(ATT 12,000) 8th February 2012 - Kick off 16:00 Ref: M Benouza

Zambia Zambia vs Ghana Ghana

Zambia 1

E Mayuka (78)

ft

Ghana 0

D Boateng (S/O 84)

Live Commentary

Last Updated at 5:52 pm, February 8th 2012

  1. FT

    And that's it! Amazing scenes here in Bata as Zambia book their place in the final of the 2012 AFrica Cup of Nations. The Chipolopolo players are in dream land, but it's heartache for the Black Stars of Ghana. It's been a great match, despite the lack of goals, and I've hope you've enjoyed it. I'm Ryan Gordon wishing you a great rest of your Wednesday.

  2. 90

    Heart-in-mouth moment for Zambia now as the Black Stars launch their umpteenth cross into the area, and this time the ball falls right at the feet of Issac Vorsah, but his shot from close range is immediately closed down and the Chipolopolo fans can breath a sigh of relief. We'll have four minutes of added-time at the end, and we're already 90 seconds into that.

  3. 89

    There's nothing pretty about Ghana's play now as they resort to the route-one tactic. They're not having too much luck though as the Zambians have virtually parked the bus in front of goal here. They're on the verge of an Africa Cup of Nations final, and they're not willing to let that slip away.

  4. 87

    A final throw of the dice from Ghana coach Stevanovic as he brings on Sulley Muntari for Andre Ayew.

  5. 84

    Ghana's day has just gone from bad to worse, and Goran Stevanovic has just seen his side go down to 10 men as Derek Boateng picks up his second yellow card for a needless challenge in the middle of the park. Worse possible time for it too as the Black Stars only have seven minutes plus added time to rescue their African dream.

  6. 79

    You've felt a goal's been coming, but no one predicted it would be the Zambians celebrating it. But they're in front, and it was through a quite brilliant strike from Emmanuel Mayuka, who, with his back to goal, showed good quick feet to spin his marker before tucking his effort into the bottom corner of the net.

  7. 78

    GOAL! Zambia 1-0 Ghana! Emmanuel Mayuka!

  8. 75

    It's all happeneing on the benches at the moment and Ghana make their second change, Prince Tagoe coming on for Gyan, who, to be honest, has not been at his best tonight.

  9. 74

    Meanwhile, Isaac Chansa becomes the third Zambia player to go into the book for a challenge on Anthony Annan.

  10. 73

    Ghana make their first change of the night as Isaac Vorsah comes on for captain Jonh Mensah, who picked up a slight knock in an earlier challenge.

  11. 71

    Ghana won't come much closer without scoring. A free-kick from a deep position is whipped into the area with real pace, and Asamoah Gyan jumps well to challenge Kennedy Mweene, winning his header via a deflection off the goalkeeper, but the ball flies just wide of the post to the dismay of the Black Stars supporters.

  12. 67

    Another change now for Zambia as Francis Kasonde is off for Chisamba Lungu.

  13. 65

    The cards are starting to starting to pile up now as Derek Boateng goes into the referee's book for an illegal jump on Christopher Katongo. That's now two bookings a piece here in Bata.

  14. 62

    The only thing this game is missing at the moment is a touch of composure. Both sides look really dangerous when going forward, but neither can find that killer instinct in front of goal. On the sidelines Zambia coach Herve Renard is furiously trying to get his orders out to the players, and by the way he's shouting I think it's best they listen.

  15. 58

    Zambia have been much more lively in this half and another quick break earns them their first corner of the second period. Chris Katongo looks to play it short but John Mensah is quick to the danger and nips and clears the ball for touch.

  16. 55

    Zambia pick up their second booking of the evening as Stophira Sunzu brings Jordan Ayew down just on the edge of the area. The resulting free-kick is a really good one, but John Boye gets his header all wrong and the chance goes begging. Meanwhile, Nathan Sinkala is down and needs some treatement, and Zambia are down to 10 men just at the moment.

  17. 50

    Ghana are still very much in control of this encounter, and Jordan Ayew looks to burst the back of the net with a rasping drive from the edge of the area, but Kennedy Mweene is proving a tough nut to crack in the Zambia goal.

  18. 46

    The referee blows his whistle and Ghana get the ball rolling in the second-half. Just one change at the break, Zambia's James Chamanga coming off for Emmanuel Mayuka

  19. HT

    The referee blows for half-time and the players head down the tunnel with the scores still at 0-0. Will something eventually give in the second-half? Join me after the break to find out.

  20. 45

    The fourth official shows we will have just one minute of time added on to the end of the first-half.

  21. 44

    Ghana are pressing hard for a goal before the break and burst forward in a blistering counter-attack. The ball is played out wide to Samuel Inkoom who is in a great position to cross into the area, but the full-back sees his name up in lights and goes for goal, but the effort is high, wide and not at all handsome. He's getting a lot of questions directed at him from his team-mates, and rightfully so. Real waste.

  22. 39

    Chances are beginning to come along less frequently now as the half comes towards its close, although there's still plenty of tempo about the play. Ghana go close again with a shot from the edge of the area, but the ball is deflected out for a corner, but Kennedy Mweene is furious with his defenders for allowing the time and space for the opposition to shoot.

  23. 34

    How this game is still level is beyond me. Zambia carve out the best chance so far as Chris Katongo and James Chamanga again link-up well inside the area, but the latter, with just the goalkeeper to beat, can't find the target and curls his shot the wrong side of the up-right.

  24. 32

    Zambia look really dangerous on the break, and Chris Katongo looks to have played James Chamanga through on goal, but the linesman's flag is correctly raised for off-side. Ghana are right back up field and continue their onslaught on the Zambia area, although the Copper Bullets defenders have so far done well to close off any paths to goal.

  25. 26

    Another golden chance for Ghana, but another glaring miss from Asamoah Gyan. He's teed up perfectly just inside the area and has the whole goal to aim at, but the striker gets his connection all wrong and the ball bobbles through to the goalkeeper. Zambia are lucky to still be level at the moment, but Ghana would be wise not to waste too many chances this evening.

  26. 23

    Zambia show what they're capable of and, after absorbing wave after wave of Ghana attack, break up field with real pace, and James Chamanga looks to have broken the Black Stars backline, but John Mensah shows sublime pace to track back and regain possession inside his own area.

  27. 18

    It's been all Ghana since that penalty incident, and Zambia are hanging on by a thread at the moment. Jordan Ayew almost wiggles his way into the Chipolopolo area but it takes a double challenge to stop the forward. The resulting free-kick is a good one, but the ball is headed up in the air and the defence are eventually able to clear. Moments later and Ghana have a player go into the book, John Boye cautioned for a foul on Isaac Chansa.

  28. 14

    Zambia pick up the first booking of the evening as Francis Kasonde is yellow carded for a foul on John Boye. Asamoah Gyan almost made up for his penalty miss moments before with a fierce shot on target, but again Mweene is equal to the task and parries the ball wide.

  29. 9

    Unbelievable scenes here in the opening 10 minutes in Bata. Firstly Davis Nkausu and Kwadwo Asamoah collide in the Zambia area, and although there isn't much in the challenge the referee points to the spot. Asamoah Gyan is handed spot-kick responsibilities, but the striker's effort is poor and Kennedy Mweene pulls off a fine save.

  30. 8

    Penalty missed! Kennedy Mweene saves from Asamoah Gyan!

  31. 7

    Penalty to Ghana!

  32. 6

    Ghana enjoy a long spell of possession, but it's in the wrong half of the field as the Zambians continue to chase down every ball. The Copper Bullets win another early corner, but they're going to have to work on their delivery if they hope to threaten from dead-ball situations today.

  33. 3

    The Zambians have come out the blocks absolutely flying and are running at the Ghana defence at every opportunity. Already the Copper Bullets win a corner off Isaac Chansa's long-range effort, but the set-piece is easily dealt with by the Black Stars defence. Promising signs from Herve Renard's men though.

  34. 1

    Zambia get the first 2012 Africa Cup of Nations semi-final up and running!

  35. A moment of silence before we kick off in honour of the 74 people killed in the football riots in Egypt last week.

  36. The two teams have made their way out onto the field and the respective national anthems blare over the PA system. The players look sharp and focused, as you'd expect, and we await referee Mohamed Benouza's first blow of the whistle.

  37. We're just under 10 minutes away from the kick off in Bata , but as has been the trend with supporters for much of this tournament the attendance in the stadium is threadbare. However, those fans who have made the trip are in fine voice and will be expecting a fierce battle at Estadio de Bata this evening.

  38. Herve Renard makes changes to the starting XI for the first time in two matches, with Chisamba Lungu and Emmanuel Mayuka making way for Francis Kasonde and James Chamanga. The only absentee for the Zambia coach is Clifford Mulenga, who, if you remember, was booted out of the squad for indiscipline last week.

  39. So, Ghana make three changes to the side that dispatched Tunisia 2-1 in the quarter-finals, with Derek Boateng, Lee Addy and Jordan Ayew coming in for Emmanuel Agyemang Badu, Alhassan Masahudu and Sulley Muntari. A massive boost for the Black Stars is the fact captain John Mensah overcomes an injury and starts.

  40. Zambia: Kennedy Mweene, Francis Kasonde, Joseph Musonda, Hichani Himoonde, Davies Nkausu, Isaac Chansa, Chris Katongo, Stoppila Sunzu, Rainford Kalaba, Nathan Sinkala, James Chamanga

  41. Ghana: Adam Kwarasey, Samuel Inkoom, Lee Addy, John Mensah, John Boye, Kwadwo Asamoah, Anthony Annan, Derek Boateng, Asamoah Gyan, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew

  42. The teams are in...

  43. Feel like making it a little more interesting? Our friends at Sky Bet reckon Ghana are an even-money bet to secure their spot in the final, while Zambia are at 14/5 to pip the African titans.

  44. Both teams finished top of their respective groups with seven points each, and both looked likely semi-finalists throughout their respective last-eight clashes. Zambia may have booked their spot in the penultimate round with the more convincing victory (3-0 over Sudan), but Ghana boast a vastly more experienced squad which can often prove crucial at such a pivotal stage of a tournament.

  45. The Blacks Stars may have been one of the smart-money bets at the beginning of the tournament, but there's really not much to choose between the sides based on their respective forms in the games leading up to tonight's encounter.

  46. Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I'm Ryan Gordon and I've been honoured with the task of taking you through all the action as Ghana look to live up to their billing as Africa Cup of Nations favourites when they face Zambia in the semi-finals.

Matches

Tables

Africa Cup of Nations Group A

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 South Africa 2 4
2 Cape Verde 2 2
3 Morocco 2 2
4 Angola 2 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group B

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ghana 3 7
2 Mali 3 4
3 DR Congo 3 3
4 Niger 3 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group C

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Burkina 3 5
2 Nigeria 3 5
3 Zambia 3 3
4 Ethiopia 3 1

Africa Cup of Nations Group D

Africa Cup of Nations
Pos Team P Pts
1 Ivory Coast 3 7
2 Togo 3 4
3 Tunisia 3 4
4 Algeria 3 1