The Warm-Up; Ivory Coast vs Ghana (Match 32)

Final

Ivory Coast
Ivory Coast

VS

Ghana
Ghana

Date: February 8th, 2015

Venue: Estadio De Bata

City: Bata, Equatorial Guinea

Time: 21:00 (CAT)

Form Guide: (Afcon Results): Ivory Coast DDWWW

January 20th: Ivory Coast 1 – 1 Guinea

January 24th: Ivory Coast 1 – 1 Mali

January 28th: Cameroon 0 – 1 Ivory Coast

February 1st: Ivory Coast 3 – 1 Algeria

February 4th: DR Congo 1 – 3 Ivory Coast

Form Guide: (Afcon Results): Ghana LWWWW

January 19th: Ghana 1 – 2 Senegal

January 23rd: Ghana 1 – 0 Algeria

January 27th: South Africa 1 – 2 Ghana

February 1st: Ghana 3 – 0 Guinea

February 5th: Ghana 3 – 0 Equatorial Guinea

The Grand Stand Prediction:

The eyes of the footballing world will tonight assemble at the Estadio De Bata to witness the crowning of the new kings of Africa. The much-anticipated encounter sees the Ivory Coast take on the Black Stars of Ghana, a fixture football fans have craved for many a year, and one that promises to be a closely contested affair.

The Ivory Coast, who were in the infamous ‘Group of Draws’, may have at some point felt that a spot in the final would elude them; but draws against Guinea and Mali were followed by a much-needed 1 – 0 victory against Cameroon, and Herve Renard’s men have not looked back since. For a side that came into the tournament with 11 goals conceded from their 6 qualifiers, the Ivorians looked a lot more assured in defence and more confident in attack, recording 3 – 1 wins against both Algeria and Congo DR on their way to the final showdown. Searching for their first Afcon triumph since 1992 in the absence of Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who retired from international football, this generation of Elephants will be relying on the leadership of Manchester City’s Yaya Toure to drive the team and lead the stampede throughout the 90 minutes. The likes of Gervinho and Wilfried Bony, who will be tasked with netting the goals for the Ivorians, will also have to be on song if the group dubbed ‘The Golden Generation’ is to finally add a trophy to the tag.

Ghanaians will feel that an Afcon trophy has been a long time coming for their nation. Having played in 4 successive semifinals prior to this tournament, some Ghanaians will have seen anything less than an appearance in the final as a failure on the part of the young Ghana side. But with their qualifying campaign having been less than impressive, and with the much debated appointment of coach Avram Grant just weeks before the start of the tournament, Ghana fans ought to be somewhat pleasantly surprised at how well the 30th edition of the Afcon showpiece has gone for their side. They young squad has continued to improve as the tournament has progressed, following up a defeat against Senegal in their opener with wins against Algeria, South Africa, Guinea and host nation Equatorial Guinea. But none of that will matter when the first whistle is blown, and the likes of Andre and Jordan Ayew, along with Mubarak Wakaso and Christain Atsu, will have to put in a resilient and assured performance against a more experienced Ivory Coast outfit, especially if injured skipper Asamoah Gyan is unable to fully recover in time to play a part in the encounter.

The 30th edition of the Afcon tournament has been blessed with moments of brilliance and top class quality, and this final showdown should be no exception. The midfield battle could make or break this encounter, as well as the precision and composure in front of goal. With both sides looking to end long-standing trophyless droughts, both gaffers will place emphasis on defensive organisation, making extra time and even a penalty shootout likely outcomes. One thing is for sure, though. This will be a finale worth watching, and whichever team emerges victorious will have had to earn the right to be called ‘The Kings Of Africa’

Scoreline Predictions: #GSVPredictor

Uncle Bob’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 2 – 2 Ghana (aet. Ivory Coast to win on Penalties)

SportsMano’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 1 – 2 Ghana

Mary’s Prediction: Ivory Coast 2 – 1 Ghana (aet)

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