Neighbours Ghana and Ivory Coast start as overwhelming favourites to set up a mouthwatering African Nations Cup final but must first get past semi-final opponents who have exceeded expectations.
Ivory Coast take on Democratic Republic of Congo in the first semi in Bata today, followed a day later by Ghana’s meeting with hosts Equatorial Guinea in Malabo.
Ghana and the Ivorians boast heavyweight squads, in terms of experience, ability and profile, plus a pedigree that makes them hot favourites for Sunday’s final in Bata.
It is Ghana’s fifth successive appearance in the last four while the Ivorians have reached the semi-finals four times in the last six tournaments.
But both ties are likely to be anything but routine assignments.
Equatorial Guinea have taken a fairytale route to the last four, albeit with the assistance of some soft penalties which has taken some of the shine off their performance.