Riot police have had to protect football players from incensed rival fans as Ghana defeated Equatorial Guinea to advance to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final.

Ghana defeated the tournament hosts 3-0 on Thursday night and fans first became irate when Equatorial Guinea went two goals down in the first half.

Tear gas was used to disperse troublemakers inside the stadium in Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, and riot police were called in to protect Ghana's players and fans, as spectators began to throw bottles at them.

After Ghana scored a third goal in the second half and water bottles began to rain down again, the match was halted and Ghana fans moved onto the pitch area for their own safety.

The match resumed after about 40 minutes, but the referee called an early halt after a just a few minutes were played.

A police helicopter appeared over the stadium several times, flying perilously close to fans at one end of the stadium.

Riot police later entered another section and cleared the area of fans, whacking their shields with their batons to scare spectators.

Source: AP