Accra, Sept 17, GNA - Ghana's Black Satellites kept the recent euphoria of the passion of the nation intact with a 3-1 drubbing of Senegal to lift the ultimate in the finals of the four-nation WAFU tournament played at the national Wembley, the Ohene Djan Sports stadium in Accra on Saturday.
The victory of the Satellites ensured that they picked the sole slot of the group that qualifiers them to participate in the finals to be hosted in Nigeria's capital Abuja next month.
The Ghanaians thus join Nigeria and Cote d'Ivoire for the finals of the competition pieced together by Economic Community of West African Country (ECOWAS) to climax its 30th anniversary.
Thriving high on the goodwill of the supporters that thronged the arena, the Satellites had a cautious opening against the largely physical Senegalese side that remained combative all day. Creating few chances in the opening minutes, Francis Mantey sparked a mass jubilation on the 25th mark when he pounced on a rebound from a free kick to notch home the opener.
The Ghanaians inspired by the cheers, contested for every ball from that moment and occasionally managed to outclass their physical opponents with amazing brilliance that kept the crowd chanting. But the worse was to come when Bawa Mumuni gifted the visitors the equalizer when under no pressure whatsoever, the defender tapped the ball beyond displaced goalkeeper Kotei Blankson in post for the Satellites only four minutes after the half mark.
Obviously demoralised by the misfortune, the Satellites conceded the midfield battle where unimpressive officiating by Benin referee, Crespin Aguidissou suppressed their confidence with booking against creative Anthony Annan.
At a time the Senegalese seemed to have settled well, Alex Asamoah lipped above all to restore the Satellites lead with an amazing aerial ability, bringing life back to the stands on the stroke of time. The Berekum Arsenals striker who until the goal remained a passenger in the team and affected the team's shape upfront cleverly applied his head to a flying ball from the left.
From recess, both team laboured to alter the scores which proved elusive within regulation time but it eventually came in the dying embers of the game in a move solely masterminded by national and the tournament's goal scorer, Prince Tagoe.
The Phobian who enjoyed a serene day, saved his best for the last with a performance which earned him a standing ovation when he dashed from the left flanks, raced above two markers with a touch of class to set up substitute Obeng Darko to seal victory for the Satellites. Earlier, Niger defeated Benin 3-1 to pick the third position. Line Up: Ghana -Kotei Blankson, Asamoah Daniel, Afful Harrison, Anarfi Emmanuel, Bawa Mumuni, Anthony Annan, Francis Mantey, Danladi Sherrif, Prince Tagoe, Alex Asamoah/Obeng Darko, Douglas Nkrumah/Obed Asamoah