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By Mark Gleeson
ACCRA, Feb 7 - Substitute Alain Nkong's
second-half goal gave Cameroon a place in the African Nations
Cup final after a 1-0 semi-final win over hosts Ghana on
Nkong, playing in only his second international, slotted the
ball past keeper Richard Kingson after being set up by Samuel
Eto'o on 71 minutes at the Ohene Djan stadium to put Cameroon
into a sixth Nations Cup final.
They will meet either defending champions Egypt or Ivory
Coast, who play later on Thursday in the second semi-final in
Cameroon had been written off after a 4-2 defeat by Egypt in
their opening match at the tournament but recovered remarkably
to power their way to Sunday's final.
The Indomitable Lions will have to play the decider in Accra
without defender Andre Bikey, red-carded for shoving a first-aid
assistant in a bizarre incident at the end of the game.
Victory was sweet satisfaction for Cameroon's veteran coach
Otto Pfister, who previously reached the Nations Cup final as
coach of Ghana 16 years ago.
"It's one of the highlights of my career," the 71-year-old
said, "but that's the life of a coach, winning or
Cameroon created a few chances in the game but made their
key opportunity count against the home team.
"The difference between the teams was mainly mental," added
Cameroon midfielder Achille Emana.
Defender Geremi rattled the Ghana crossbar with a 35-metre
free kick in the 37th minute.
Ghana had to use key midfielder Michael Essien in defence,
losing his dominant role in the midfield, after the suspension
of captain John Mensah and were without injured Asamoah Gyan and
Laryea Kingston, who suffered foot pain 15 minutes before kick
Kingston's replacement Andre Ayew proved an effective foil,
setting up several chances in both halves of the game, the best
cleared near the line by Geremi in the 70th minute.
Striker Junior Agogo headed a free kick narrowly over the
crossbar just 10 minutes from the end.
"I was never as sad in my career as I am today," said Ghana
coach Claude Le Roy.
"It's a terrible deception to lose this game. I can
understand how sad the people of Ghana are tonight."
(editing by Justin Palmer)