The final is set for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, and it’s a dream matchup for football fans.
Ivory Coast and Ghana will face-off on Sunday, February 8th to determine which team is the best in all of Africa.
When thinking of your powerhouses in African football, Ivory Coast and Ghana are near the top of that list. Both countries have produced players that are stars for their clubs in Europe and both have featured in the previous three World Cups.
Ghana has won four Africa Cup of Nations titles, but the last of those championships came in 1982. Ivory Coast has won the tournament once before in 1992, when they defeated Ghana in the finals.
Ivory Coast reaches the finals after cruising to a 3-1 win over surprise semifinalist DR Congo, while Ghana handed host nation Equatorial Guinea a 3-0 loss in their final four matchup.
Ghana’s semifinal match was marred by crowd violence, which caused a delay of over 30 minutes before play could be resumed. Despite all the events, players looked in good spirits after the match and will be eager to set their focus on the finals.
Below we take a quick look at the two sides as we count down the days to the final. Stay up to date with all your latest Africa Cup of Nations news right here at PST.
FIFA World Ranking:
Ivory Coast: 28
2015 AFCON results:
1-1 draw vs. Guinea
1-1 draw vs. Mali
1-0 win vs. Cameroon
3-1 win vs. Algeria
3-1 win vs. DR Congo
1-2 loss vs. Senegal
1-0 win vs. Algeria
2-1 win vs. South Africa
3-0 win vs. Guinea
3-0 win vs. Equatorial Guinea
Premier League players:
Ivory Coast: Kolo Toure (Liverpool), Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United), Yaya Toure (Manchester City), Wilfried Bony (Manchester City)
Ghana: Christian Atsu (Everton), Kwesi Appiah (Crystal Palace)
Player to watch:
Ivory Coast: Gervinho
The Roma striker was shown a red card in Ivory Coast’s opening match, and was suspended for the final two games of the group stage. In his two matches back, the former Arsenal man has scored twice. Gervinho is quick and crafty, and will surely be looking to avenge his missed penalty kick in the 2012 AFCON finals, which Ivory Coast lost to Zambia.
Ghana: Asamoah Gyan
The Black Stars’ captain and all-time leading goalscorer is already one of the greatest African players ever. He has scored at three World Cups and seemingly always finds that clutch goal for his side. Gyan rested an injury during the semifinal match, but expect the skipper to be in full force for the finals.