| 9.5°C Dublin

Ghana coach rejects 'negative' claims

IT MAY seem strange after the horrific start to the tournament with the shootings in Cabinda, but what has really let the Africa Cup of Nations down has been the football.

For all the drama and excitement there has been little in the way of quality, but there is at least a chance of a late reprieve in tomorrow's final which pits the two best sides against each other.

Egypt, with 14 goals in five matches, have been the most effective side going forward, their precise passing game, based around the intelligence of their captain Ahmed Hassan, unlocking sides as readily as it has in each of the last two Cups of Nations.

Ghana, with three straight clean sheets, have been the most solid, as a young side based on the squad that won the U20 World Cup last year has grown in maturity and self-belief with each game.

"It is the result that counts not possession," said their coach Milovan Rajevac, dismissing suggestions that his side are overly negative. "We came here to compete and not to play entertaining football. Every team needs to know how to defend because it is an essential element of modern football."

Egypt v Ghana, Live, tomorrow, Eurosport, BBC2, 3.45

Irish Independent