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Grant praises Ghana's mental strength ahead of final

Ghana coach Avram Grant has praised his team's fortitude following their performance in the African Nations Cup semi-final against hosts Equatorial Guinea which was disrupted by fan violence.

Grant's side won 3-0 to book a spot in the final where they will play Herve Renard's Ivory Coast.

"Before the tournament we had a good training camp in Spain," Grant said. "I spoke a lot to the players about mentality. One of the things that is important in sports and in life as well, is to recover after you lost a game.

"We spoke about what would happen if we win because we were in a tough group. They called our group the group of death, I call it the group of living."

The game was overshadowed by a long delay as the home fans hurled plastic bottles and other projectiles on to the pitch. Riot police intervened and a security helicopter flew over the stadium to disperse home fans.

"It's vital to show a strong mentality," Grant added. "We lost the first game, we won the second in the last minute. The third game we had to win, we came back to win 2-1. Every game we're playing better football and we're scoring a lot of goals.

"This is part of life, you need to look for a solution to pick yourselves up. I was looking for this from players and they did it well, they picked themselves up and they showed Ghana that they could count on them."

Ivory Coast defeated Democratic Republic of Congo 3-1 in a one-sided semi-final. "It's good to go to the final," Grant said. "No one gave us a chance, they spoke of other teams, saying they were better than us, but no one gave us a chance. We are in the final and now we want to win the cup."

The final is at the Estadio de Bata tomorrow evening.

Morocco, meanwhile, have been banned from the next two African Nations Cups and fined US dollars one million for pulling out of hosting this year's competition, the Confederation of African Football has announced.

CAF also ordered the Moroccan Football Federation to pay compensation of 48m for losses sustained by CAF, its stakeholders and its partners.