ICoast, Ghana favorites to make African Cup final

MARK WALSH Associated Press Published:

BATA, Equatorial Guinea (AP) -- Ivory Coast and Ghana are on course to meet in a showpiece final at the African Cup of Nations, with only semifinal opponents Mali and Zambia able to prevent the eagerly awaited showdown.

Ivory Coast's star-studded squad has won all four matches without conceding a goal in its quest for a first cup success in 20 years, while Ghana, losing finalists two years ago, is looking for a fifth title.

Ghana must first beat Zambia, which has enjoyed an impressive cup campaign so far and is motivated to make the final in Libreville in memory of 25 players and officials who died in a plane crash near the Gabonese capital 19 years ago.

Ivory Coast's opponent, Mali, is bidding to reach its first final after having beaten co-host Gabon on penalties in the quarterfinals.