Ghana defeated Ivory Coast 3-1 to advance to the final of the West African Football Union Cup of Nations on Tuesday.
Mumuni Shafiu’s hat-trick kept Maxwell Konadu’s men in the hunt of defending the title they won on home soil two years ago in Cape Coast.
Shafiu opened the scoring at Stade Lat-Dior on the half hour-mark and later bagged a brace in the second half.
Ivory Coast started the encounter as the more dominant side and David Fofana almost broke the deadlock in the 20th minute, but his right-footed effort was no danger for Antwi Ofori.
Eight minutes later, Augustine Okrah came through for Ghana with his free-kick that was parried away by Eliezer Tape.
The Black Stars’ push for an opener finally paid off in the 30th minute when Joseph Esso fired in a ferocious shot from just inside the penalty area and Shafiu threw himself at the Constant Kouame clearance to put the ball into the back of the net.
On the stroke of half-time, Brahima Ouattara had a chance to score the leveller but he hesitated and his shot was deflected for a corner-kick and Kouame blasted the ensuing effort wide.Ghana continued from where they left off immediately after the restart with Shafiu doubling the lead just 30 seconds into the second 45 minutes.
It did not take long for the skipper to grab his hat-trick of the night as his brilliant header beat off Tape in the 51st minute.
Towards the end of the contest, Ofori’s blunder cost the Black Stars a goal when Aboubacar Doumbia slotted home a free-kick in the 78th minute.
Ghana now await the winner between Senegal and Mali in Wednesday’s other semi-final clash in the final on October 13.