Ghana coach Maxwell Koandu has patted the local Black Stars on the back after a hard fought victory over Nigeria to advance to the African Nations Championship final.
The Ghanaians finished the game with 10 men, but pressed on despite their numerical drawback against a ruthless Nigerian side to force the game into a penalty shootout after extra time.
Their determination ended in a 4-1 victory to book a repeat game against Group C opponents Libya in the final on Saturday in Cape Town at 1800 GMT.
Konadu said it was a deserved triumph.
"The Nigerians overstretched [us] and the boys deserve lots of commendation for showing a strong mentality and proving themselves. These boys have made a massive statement with their performance against Nigeria.”
He added: “It was a very tight game but there was no point in time that we felt like giving up. I knew no matter how tough it was, we would at least get our goal so we needed to concentrate and defend very well. We waited and waited and the goal didn't come. What rather came was a red card and we didn't give up.
"I'm very proud of these boys for making themselves and the nation proud. There is something in these boys and people must be patient with them to see what they can achieve," the former Asante Kotoko coach noted.