Monday, February 03, 2014
LIBYA CLAIM FIRST CAF SILVERWARE
Libya claimed their first piece of continental silverware with a 4-3 penalty shoot-out victory over Ghana in the final of the 2014 African Nations Championship in Cape Town on Saturday night.
A tepid final had finished in a goalless draw, with all the drama reserved for the shoot-out where Libya raced into a lead and then locked to have surrendered their advantage.
But a miss from Joshua Tijani in sudden death gifted the trophy to Libya, who ironically were the original hosts of this competition before the civil war in that country saw the tournament shifted to
It is also a triumph for their Spanish coach Javier Clemente, who has only been in the job a matter of months, and already has made history with the side.
For Ghana it is a second defeat in the CHAN final after they also lost the inaugural 2009 decider against DR Congo, meaning their 32-year wait for CAF silverware continues.
There were few chances in the game, but the best did fall to the Libyans.
A defensive slip early on from Ghana saw Black Stars goalkeeper Stephen Adams rushing off his line to clear the danger, while Ghana thought they should have had a penalty for handball soon afterwards.
Both Ahmed Kamal El Trbi and El Mutasem Abushnaf had good headed chances to give their side the lead, but the former saw his effort saved and the latter did not hit the target.
The result meant that just one goal was scored in the final four matches of the CHAN competition, with defences on top and a lack of creative ability to break them down.
Penalties looked inevitable and after Ghana missed their first two it seemed as though Libya would coast home.
But when the north Africans squandered their fourth and fifth effort it brought the Black Stars back into it, before Tijani put his effort wide of the left-hand post to blow the chances of his team.