(William D. Ezah, GNA Special Correspondent, Malabo, E. Guinea, courtesy, uniBank Ghana Limited)
Malabo, E. Guinea, Feb. 5, GNA – Ghana beat host Equatorial Guinea 3-0 at the Estadio De Malabo, Malabo to book a place at the finals of the 30th Africa Cup of Nations on Thursday.
Two goals in the first half and one in the second was enough to set up a date with Cote D’ Ivoire on Sunday, at the Estadio De Bata, Bata.
It was a victory that was characterised by intense crowd violence on the part of the host nation.
A 40th minute penalty awarded Ghana, when striker Kwesi Appiah was brought down in the vital area incurred the wrath of the home fans who protested by throwing missiles onto the pitch.
Jordan Ayew converted for Ghana in the 41st minute, whilst a swift counter-attack by Ghana spear-headed by Christian Atsu.
He raced deep into the opponents’ area before setting up Mubarak Wakaso who rounded up his markers to fire in the second goal in the 45th minute.
The vociferous home crowd threw missiles onto the pitch in protest of some decisions against them and it took the efforts of police officers to shield the referee and the Ghanaian players into the dressing room after the first half.
The situation got worse in the second half when the attack was diverted on the few Ghanaian fans in the stands.
The rest of the game was characterised by violence as supporters threw plastic water bottles and other weapons onto the pitch in protest against some decisions of the referee.
However the game continued till the 75th minute, when Appiah broke off from another counter attack and set a perfect pass to Andre Ayew, who tapped in for the third goal to seal victory for Ghana.
But the attack on the scanty supporters was intensified and the security detailed on duty was compelled to open the inner perimeter for them to run onto the tartan tracks for cover.
Referee Otogo-Constance, was compelled to halt the match in the 81st minute as the violence continued.
Not even the intervention of the players of Equatorial Guinea could end the violence whilst Ghanaian fans remained on the tartan tracks seeking for cover whilst the missiles poured on them.
The armed police in response stormed the stands and brutalised the home fans and fired tear gas.
The angry fans dispersed and ran for their lives and within a spate of 10 minutes they were cleared from the stands.
Ghana: Razak Braimah, Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, John Boye, Jonathan Mensah, Afriyie Acquah, Christian Atsu, Mubarak Wakaso/Agyemang Badu, Jordan Ayew, Kwesi Appiah, Andre Ayew/Frank Acheampong
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