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Football | Afcon

Mubarak Wakaso © Backpagepix

Wakaso starts for Ghana



Ghana midfielder Mubarak Wakaso earned a starting place in coach Kwesi Appiah's side for Wednesday's Africa Cup of Nations semifinal here against Burkina Faso.

The Espanyol player's inclusion was just reward for his starring performance in the quarterfinals, when his two second-half goals put the Black Stars into the semis at the expense of Cape Verde.

Fit-again Anthony Annan was among the substitutes.

Ghana's attack was led by lone striker Asamoah Gyan.

Burkina Faso coach Paul Put made three changes from the side that saw off Togo in extra-time in the quarterfinals, with striker Aristide Bance and midfielders Florent Rouamba and Prejuce Nakoulma called up.

Captain Moumouni Dagano, Issouf Ouattara and Wilfried Sanou dropped to the bench.

Daouda Diakite remained between the posts despite the availability after a two-match ban of No 1 goalkeeper Abdoulaye Soulama.

Four-time champions Ghana are seeking their first appearance in the final since 2010 while Burkina Faso are aiming to rewrite history having never reached the competition climax.

The winner of this last-four tie at Nelspruit's Mbombela Stadium will meet Nigeria, 4-1 winners over Mali earlier in Durban, in Sunday's title decider at Soweto's Soccer City.

Ghana: Fatawu Dauda, John Paintsil, Harrison Afful, John Boye, Isaac Vorsah, Rabiu Mohammed, Emmanuel Agyeman Badu, Christian Atsu, Mubarak Wakaso, Kwadwo Asamoah, Asamoah Gyan (capt)

Coach: Kwesi Appiah

Burkina Faso: Daouda Diakite, Mohamed Koffi, Bakary Kone, Paul Koulibaly, Mady Panandetiguiri, Djakaridja Kone, Charles Kabore (capt), Florent Rouamba, Prejuce Nakoulma, Jonathan Pitroipa, Aristide Bance

Referee: Slim Jdidi (TUN)

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