Ghana 4,Benin 2
by Modern Ghana
A second half Laryea Kingston inspired performance saw the Black Stars grind out a 4-2 win over Benin, after coming from a 2-0 goal deficit.
Ghana, thus lift the trophy of the Zenith Bank 4-Nation International Tournament which comes with a prize money of $70,000.
The nation’s dress rehearsal for next African Cup of Nations lived up to its billing as Benin stunned the home crowd in the finals of the from a spot kick after 25 minutes.
Claude Le Roy made four changes to the team that played in the first game giving goalkeeper Sammy Adjei, Moussa Narry, Haminu Draman and Baffour Gyan, all starting roles.
The Black Stars struggled to break down the Benin defence and matters were made worse when Baffour Gyan was stretchered off after picking up an injury as Andre Ayew took over.
Minutes afterwards, Ghana player, Haminu Draman tripped a Squirrel player in the box and the penalty awarded against the Black Stars saw Stephane Sessegnon beat Sammy Adjei in post for the Black Stars.
Ghana failed to find their form as the Benin side looked the better of the two sides in the first half.
Back recess and Ghana did their second change with Hans Adu Sarpei coming on for Moussa Narry.
With just a minute of play done, the Squirrels doubled their lead after a mix up in the Ghanaian defence allowed Swedish-based Omotoyossi Razack to dribble past Sammy Adjei and hit home their second goal.
However Ghana responded instantly as Junior Agogo beat the offside trap to latch onto a through ball and place it past the Benin goalkeeper in the 47th minute.
Twenty-one minutes after Agogo’s goal and Ghana really got back into the game when Laryea Kingston operating on the right flank controlled an across field pass from Michael Essien with his chest, beating a marker in the process before beating two other Benin players then planted the ball to the far end of the post having beaten the Squirrels goalkeeper to draw level for Ghana.
Then Stephen Appiah stepped up to put Ghana in the lead for the first time on the night when he controlled a pass with his chest into the box and struck a shot into the back of the net to cap a rather quiet performance in the 84th minute.
Two minutes later, Laryea Kingston was on hand again to find goal when he curled in a freekick t make 4-2 from the left side of the Benin penalty box after Junior Agogo, who was racing into the area had been fouled.
Ghana made two more substitutions as John Mensah was withdrawn for Anthony Annan while Stephen Appiah came off for Matthew Amoah.
Earlier in the the afternoon, Togo beat 10-man United Arab Emirates 5-0 to win the 3rd position.
Goals from Nouhoun Moutawakilou, Mani Sapol, Emmanuel Adebayor, Dossevi Thomas and an own goal by Humaid Fakher Hussain condemned UAE to fourth place.
Ghana line up:
Sammy Adjei, Moussa Narry/Hans Adu Sarpei, Haminu Draman, Kofi Amponsah, John Mensah/Anthony Annan, Laryea Kingston, Michael Essien, Stephen Appiah/Matthew Amoah, Sulley Muntari, Junior Agogo, Baffour Gyan/Andre Ayew
Richard Kingson, Hans Adu Sarpei, Andre Ayew, Michael Helegbe, Dan Addo, Francis Dickoh, Matthew Amoah, Anthony Annnan