Cameroon vs Ghana 9pm
GABON-The nearly men of African football in recent years, Ghana go into a sixth consecutive semifinal at the Cup of Nations when they face Cameroon in Franceville on Thursday.
The Black Stars have not won the trophy since 1982, instead gaining a reputation for coming up just short all too often over the last decade.
Avram Grant’s side lost on penalties to the Ivory Coast in the final two years ago, while their current run of near misses began with a 1-0 defeat to Cameroon at home in Accra in 2008.
But in Gabon they have seemed like a side on a mission to end their long title drought and a 2-1 quarterfinal win over DR Congo in Oyem on Sunday, secured thanks to a goal each from the Ayew brothers, took them through to the last four.
There a Cameroon side dismissed by most observers prior to the tournament awaits.
“In the group stage they played well and against Senegal they were very impressive, so the semifinal is going to be tough,” Grant told Ghanaian media.
The Israeli will be eager to have skipper Asamoah Gyan – a survivor of the 2008 squad – back fit from the adductor injury suffered in their last group game against Egypt and that kept him out of the DR Congo win. Meanwhile, Razak Brimah will hope to keep his place in goal despite being fined $2 500 by the Ghanaian FA after upsetting supporters with an outburst on Facebook.
Razak said he was responding to insults directed at his mother but nevertheless issued an official apology.
“I accept that as an ambassador for my country Ghana and a role model for many across the globe, I should not have reacted this way,” said the 29-year-old.