Goals galore at the afcon

KUMASI - The goals continued to flow at the 2008 MTN Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday with a record created as hosts Ghana beat Ivory Coast 4-2 in the third place playoff.

KUMASI - The goals continued to flow at the 2008 MTN Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday with a record created as hosts Ghana beat Ivory Coast 4-2 in the third place playoff.

A first-half equaliser by Ivorian striker Boubacar Sanogo was the 94th goal of the 2008 tournament - one more than the previous best set in Burkina Faso 10 years ago.

There have been 70 goals in the group phase of the African football showcase this year, 16 in the quarterfinals, six in the semifinals and six in the playoff for a total of 98.

And with the final between defending champions Egypt and Cameroon playing yesterday in Accra, more goals seem certain as the contenders have struck 14 each in five matches.

Sulley Muntari, Quincy Owusu-Abeyie, Junior Agogo and Haminu Draman scored as Ghana finished third for the first time while Sanogo was on target twice in the opening half to give the Ivory Coast a 2-1 lead at the break. Ghana coach Claude Le Roy said: "My players were fantastic. The Ivory Coast weren't able to kill the game despite their 2-1 lead at half time.

"Today I have to say a big thank you to my team and to the Ghana Football Association for all their support and backing."

Le Roy made two changes from the team beaten by Cameroon in the semifinals on Thursday, depriving them of a chance to become the third consecutive hosts after Tunisia and Egypt to win the biennial tournament.

Captain John Mensah returned to the defence after serving a one-game ban and Baffour Gyan was brought into attack with Andrew Ayew and Owusu-Abeyie dropped.

The Ivory Coast coach Gerard Gili was more radical, making six alterations to the starting line-up from the heavy loss to Egypt with English Premiership trio Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Abdoulaye Meite among those omitted.

Chelsea striker Salomon Kalou should have given the Ivorian "Elephants" an early lead, but fluffed two chances before passing to Sanogo who failed to find the net from an acute angle.

Ghana, appearing in the playoff for only the second time, took a 10th-minute lead thanks to a rocket from another Premiership player on parade, Portsmouth midfielder Muntari.

He unleashed a left-foot free kick from outside the penalty area that flew past a crowded goalmouth and through the hands of Tiasse Kone, the only local in the Ivorian squad.- Sapa-AFP

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