AFCON 2015: Ghana in final after winning match marred by crowd trouble

Black Stars of Ghana beat 2015 Africa Cup of Nations Equatorial Guinea 3-0 to reach the final to play Ivory Coast. The match was marred by crowd trouble.

BBC reports …

Crowd trouble forced a 30-minute interruption of the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final between Ghana and Equatorial Guinea.

Ghana fans massed behind a goal after 82 minutes of the match as they appeared to seek refuge from missiles that were being thrown at them.

Bottles rained down as police battled to gain control, while a helicopter hovered over the stadium in Malabo.

Play resumed for three minutes as Ghana completed a 3-0 win to reach the final.

However, the match will not be remembered for Ghana’s victory, which came about through goals from Jordan Ayew, Mubarak Wakaso and Andre Ayew.

The Black Stars will now go on to play Ivory Coast in Sunday’s final.

Ghana took a 2-0 lead into half-time, having opened the scoring when Jordan Ayew dispatched a penalty after Kwesi Appiah had been fouled by keeper Felipe Ovono and doubled their lead when Wakaso drilled home following a counter-attack.

At the end of the first period crowd unrest was already evident as Ghana’s players needed to be shielded by police in riot gear as they left the pitch.

Andre Ayew tapped in Ghana’s third goal on 75 minutes and then with only eight minutes of the match remaining, the Ghana fans were forced from the stands and stood in the area behind a goal for their own safety.

 

Play was stopped as bottles continued to be thrown by the home supporters, littering the running track around the pitch, and chairs were also ripped out of the stands and thrown.

Equatorial Guinea had stepped in as replacement hosts for the tournament only in November and there had been plenty of concerns about their preparedness, including over security.

Two quarter-final matches were moved from Ebebiyin and Mongomo amid reported fears of potential crowd issues, although the Confederation of African Football said the reason was the deterioration of pitches in those stadiums.

When police moved in to try to restore order in Malabo it took a considerable amount of time before the Ghana fans were safely escorted from the stadium.

There was confusion over whether the match would resume and officials could be seen discussing the situation – and all the while the players remained on the pitch.

Once the field was cleared of bottles and other objects, the match was restarted but the referee brought the game to an end only three minutes later.

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