African Nations Championship (CHAN) - Ghana coach Maxwell Koandu has hailed his side's progression to the final of the African Nations Championship (CHAN) after defeating Nigeria in the semi-final in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Wednesday night. A 4-1 victory during penalties capped a determined team performance by Ghana, as it held Nigeria to a 0-0 draw after extra-time despite playing with only 10 men following defender Kwabena Adusei's red card in the 64th minute.
Ghana will now play Group C opponent Libya in the final on Saturday in Cape Town.
'I must confess that I'm very very happy for myself, my family and the players. I'm very glad with all that happened,' the Ghana Football Association (GFA) website quoted Konadu as saying after Wednesday's pulsating match between the West African rivals.
'I'm very excited, not for beating Nigeria but my joy is about taking this team to the finals. It was a very tough game but it was just a matter of strategising very, very well (to) withstand the pressure that the Nigerians gave us,' Konadu said.
The Ghana coach says his team showed its character during the tough encounter.
'The boys were overstretched; there were muscle cramps here and there and we had a record which didn't help us at all. It made us to change our game plan totally so I think that it was difficult but the boys proved once again that mentally, they were very strong and they were also very tactically disciplined when we changed our system,' he said.
'It was a very tight game but there was no point in time that we felt like giving up. I knew no matter how tough it was, we would at least get our goal so we needed to concentrate and defend very well. We waited and waited and the goal didn't come. What rather came was a red card and we didn't give up.
'The Nigerians over stretched (us) and the boys deserve lots of commendation for showing a strong mentality and proving themselves. These boys have made a massive statement with their performance against Nigeria.
'I'm very proud of these boys for making themselves and the nation proud. There is something in these boys and people must be patient with them to see what they can achieve,' the coach added.
Ghana also reached the final of the inaugural edition of the CHAN, hosted by Cote d'Ivoire in 2009, but lost to DR Congo.