Favourites to advance to this stage of proceedings, Ivory Coast and Ghana both gave semi-final performances that resembled a glimpse of their full capacity.
Ivory Coast was the first to qualify on Wednesday for the Orange African Cup of Nations final held in Equatorial Guinea.
The Elephants head coach, Hervé Renard’s faith in his star players finally paid off. Before the semi-final game against DR Congo, the team’s top players had failed to live up to expectations.
National team captain and reigning African Best football player Yaya Toure had one of his better games in the entire tournament. He scored the first of Ivory Coast’s three goals with an 18 metre rocket.
AS Roma winger Gevinho tormented defenders in a match that could have seen him bag more than just a solitary goal. The player had missed the previous match due to a petulant slap levelled on Guinea defender Naby Keita that saw him receive a red card.
His semi-final performance made up for the error in judgement though.
All is forgiven.
The Ghanaian team was in a ruthless mood on Thursday night. The Black Stars won the semi-final match 3-0 against tournament hosts Equatorial Guinea.
The Ayew brothers collaborated to put the final nail in the coffin to the host’s fairy tale run. In between the brothers’ goals was Mubarak Wakaso’s strike that put the game far beyond the opponents’ reach.
That wasn’t to be the end of things though. In rowdy fashion, the Equatorial Guinea supporters started hurling objects in the Ghanaian team’s direction.
Africa should brace itself for a top draw match on Sunday evening as the continents best players have peaked just at the right time. Sadly though it is yet another tournament contested by North African teams.