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  Ghana face Cameroon wary of 'final syndrome'

Ghana go into their African Nations Cup semi-final against Cameroon here on Thursday with a word of warning from coach Claude Le Roy.
The Frenchman is concerned his players may fall into the trap of believing that as hosts they've already had their final by downing arch regional rivals Nigeria in Sunday's dramatic last eight clash.

"This is the big fear, that they think they've done it. It's precisely what I told them before training," said Le Roy, who guided Cameroon to the 1988 title, on Tuesday.
The Ghana coach, who turns 60 on the eve of the game at Accra's Ohene Djan Stadium, observed: "This happened with hosts Morocco against Cameroon in the 1988 semi-final, and again you saw it with Germany at the 2006 World Cup.
"It's the most difficult step to take. Psychologically it's a difficult hurdle to get over, we have to be wary of it."
For Le Roy the clash with the side he led to the continental crown two decades ago will be a time to put his affection for the Indomitable Lions to one side.
"I have special emotions for Cameroon, but for 90 minutes I won't be thinking about that, but about our target of qualifying for the final."
Ghana, out to emulate Egypt and Tunisia, winners of the last two editions of the Nations Cup on home soil, sealed their semi-final berth with a thrilling 2-1 win over the Nigerians on Sunday having safely negotiated the opening round as group leaders.
Cameroon, under the guidance of the oldest coach in the tournament, 70-year-old Otto Pfister, have taken an altogether different path.
Samuel Eto'o, who has become the competition's all time top scorer here in Ghana, and his teammates lost to Egypt before brushing aside Zambia and Sudan, and seeing off the Tunisians in Monday's taxing 3-2 extra time quarter-final win.
Eto'o has been the author of five of Cameroon's 13 goals taking his personal Nations Cup tally to 16.
Ghana and Cameroon have only met twice before, with both encounters resulting in stalemate, which may be why Ghana's Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien was practising spot kicks at training on Tuesday.
The level of expectation on Ghana's shoulders from an expectant nation is enormous, yet Le Roy believes there was more pressure on the Black Stars before their last group tie with Morocco.
"That was worse, we knew everything could end if we didn't come through that one.
"But remember, if you're watching from the moon, this is just another football game."
Ghana will be missing their captain John Mensah after the Rennes defender was sent off for a professional foul against Nigeria, with Russian club Saturn back Shilla Illiasu set to fill the vacuum.
Mensah was originally thought to be out for the final as well should Ghana make it but the Confederation of African Football handed down a one-match rather than two-match ban.
Reflecting on Mensah's absence (Essien inherits the captain's armband) Le Roy said: "It complicates things without him, he's one of the best five defenders in the world in terms of potential, but we'll find a solution."
Like Ghana, Cameroon, who have had a day less to recover from their gruelling extra time quarter-final, are on a mission to lift the trophy for a record-equalling fifth time.

"We've only got two days to recover," said Pfister.
"But we've got the means to prepare well. We'll sleep well, we've got good masseurs and an excellent medical staff. We're ready," the German insisted.
Pfister, who was in charge of Togo at the World Cup, added: "We've progressed match by match. Perhaps we started badly but we always know how to react.
"We scored another three goals against Tunisia, Cameroon have scored more than any other team. But now, there are no more small sides left in the competition."


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Flags not veils as Cairo celebrates African glory     (10-02-2008 21:35)
Aboutraika lifts champions Egypt to record sixth African crown     (10-02-2008 19:23)
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Cameroon v Egypt teams     (10-02-2008 17:01)
On Song Cameroon hope to hit right note against Egypt     (10-02-2008 12:49)
Ghana 2008 erases Nations Cup all time goal-scoring record     (10-02-2008 12:23)
Le Roy wins new contract from GFA     (10-02-2008 12:22)
Record African Nations Cup goal haul as Ghana finish third     (09-02-2008 19:41)
Mourinho tips African team for World Cup semis     (09-02-2008 17:21)
Shehata receives Egypt vote of confidence     (09-02-2008 17:21)
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Egypt v Ivory Coast teams     (07-02-2008 20:29)
Nkong fires 10-man Cameroon past Ghana and into final     (07-02-2008 19:29)
Ghana and Cameroon 0-0 at half-time in semi-final     (07-02-2008 18:01)
CAF owns up to stripping Drogba of award     (07-02-2008 18:01)
Michel fired in wake of Morocco's Cup flop     (07-02-2008 18:01)
Ghana: Annan eyes Chelsea move     (07-02-2008 11:34)
Cameroon: We’ve learnt from Nigeria’s exit - Njitap     (07-02-2008 10:13)
CAN 2008 semi-finals: Cameroon promises to oust Ghana     (07-02-2008 10:12)
Eto'o - the film, at a cinema near you soon     (07-02-2008 09:15)
Kolo Toure trains with Ivory Coast     (06-02-2008 22:20)
Heavy rain cuts short Egypt training     (06-02-2008 22:19)
Ghana face Cameroon wary of 'final syndrome'     (06-02-2008 22:18)
Cult figure Pfister plots Ghana's downfall     (06-02-2008 22:18)
Zidan cautious on availability     (06-02-2008 22:18)
Ivory Coast Elephants are unstoppable fires Kalou     (06-02-2008 22:17)
Egypt, Cameroon, complete semi-final cast list     (05-02-2008 22:29)
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Nigerian team christened 'Super Chickens' after Ghana defeat at CAN 2008     (04-02-2008 19:42)
Egypt march past Angola and into the last four     (04-02-2008 19:04)
Le Roy bemoans Mensah blow, hails fans     (04-02-2008 17:17)
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Ivorian 'Elephants' trample Guinea into Nations Cup dust     (03-02-2008 22:52)
African Nations Cup - Ivory Coast 5 Guinea 0     (03-02-2008 22:26)
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Derniére mise à jour 30/3/2009