Following much hype created around the match, especially with both teams enjoying a rich vein of form coming to the final, a 0-0 draw was the furthest result in anyone’s mind.
We were sold dreams.
A goalless 120 minutes in the Africa Cup of Nations final resembled nothing of the form displayed of late.
Personally, I want an hour and thirty minutes of my life back.
With a galaxy of stars on show, a goal seemed destined to come. However the reality was a tactical affair with constant displays of ill-discipline.
Boasting of a star-studded line-up, the Elephants’ slick passing did little to threaten to opposition’s goalkeeper. Ghana was on the back foot for a large majority of the early exchanges. Nevertheless, the ball possession did not materialise into any clear-cut chances.
The Black Star, despite inferior ball possession, had the better opportunities of breaking the deadlock. Strikes from Christian Atsu and Andre Ayew hit the woodwork, but either than that there was very little to speak of.
After 90 minutes, Ghana looked in control. Yet bad passing and a whole heap of off-the-ball transgressions dominated play. The number of needless free kicks meant tired legs were starting to show.
It was a stalemate after extra time and penalties would separate the two giants of the game.
It was an eventful penalty shootout. The Black Star appeared to have been gifted the trophy when the first of Ivory Coast’s penalties were missed. In shocking fashion, Ghana missed their next two which levelled matters.
It was Cote d’Ivoire goalkeeper Boubacar Barry who found his cape just in time. Benched for the entire tournament only to be called to action in the final, he was a doubtful inclusion.
Despite the dull affair, we congratulate Ivory Coast on their achievement. Well deserved.