The game in Cape Town will be the third time both countries would be facing each other at the CHAN tournament, with previous results ending in draws; the second of which came in the group stage of this year’s tournament, where they battled for top spot in Group C.
Libya come in to the final as the surprise package of the tournament, which represents their first CAF continental competition final since they were beaten by the Black Stars of Ghana themselves at the 1982 African Cup of Nations.
The Mediterranean Knights qualified for the knockout stages after finishing second in their group behind Ghana. They went on to face Gabon and Zimbabwe in the quarter and semi-finals respectively, whom they beat on penalties.
Libya have been far from goal-shy in the tournament, having netted five goals, one of the highest at that stage of the competition. Javier Clemente’s side are confident going forward, and look to create as many chances as possible.
Ghana’s path to the final was just as tricky, as they topped group C, before facing a resilient and determined DR Congo side. After overcoming the DRC, they came up against arch-rivals Nigeria and fought hard to make the final after a penalty shootout.
Ghana will be missing the services of key man Adusei, who was sent off in the semis for a second bookable offense. Adusei, alongside Nuru Sulley has been a rock at the back for Ghana all tournament, with the Black Stars boasting a mean defensive record.
The same cannot be said of the front men, who have struggled to find the back of the net. Coach Maxwell Konadu will be hoping Yahaya Mohammed and Seidu Bansey turn up to ensure that the efforts of the support cast are not wasted.
Both sides are looking to make history by joining the DR Congo and Tunisia, winners of the 2009 and 2011 editions respectively, as CHAN champions. This final represents Ghana’s second shot at the final, after losing out to the DRC in the first edition of the tourney.
Players to watch
Ghana: Jordan Opoku
You could be forgiven for thinking Adusei is the captain of this side, as he has led the team with inspiring performances. His red card means it’s time for the captain himself, Opoku, to take responsibility and drive his team to victory.
Opoku needs to put in the performance of his career on Saturday, by taking control of the midfield and feeding Yahaya and Bansey will balls to hurt the opposition. Ghana’s strikers have been starved of possession a lot and if the Stars are to come out victorious, they need their midfielders, Opoku especially to turn up.
Libya: Abdelrahman Fetori
Abdelrahman Fetori has led the defensive line with much aplomb so far and will be looking to keep out Ghana’s attackers. Fetori in this tournament has been what Kwabena Adusei has been to Ghana. Threat upfront, rock at the back.
He could be a big difference maker in the final, upfront or behind. The Libyans will be looking to him to provide some inspiration, as they seek their first CHAN title.
Ghana: Stephen Adams, Joshua Tijani, Ainooson, Sulley, Latif Mohammed, Asiedu Attobrah, Jordan Opoku, Michael Akuffu, Theophilus Annorbaah, Yahaya Mohammed, Seidu Bansey
Libya: Mohamed Abdaula, Ahmed Alaghasi, Elmehdi Elhouni, Osama Ghit, Muataz Fadel, Mohamed Elgadi, Mohamed Ghanudi, MotasemSabbou, Ali Salama, Ahmed El Trbi, Abdelrahman Fetori
Prediction: Both teams know each other so well, and this could be a tight match, and will probably go into extra time. The score after 120 minutes will probably read 1-1.