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21 January 2017

Gyan goal sends Ghana into AFCON quarters

 

The Black Stars are through to the quarter-finals of the AFCON after a hard-fought 1-0 win over Mali on Saturday.

Ghana’s Captain Asamoah Gyan headed home from a cross by Jordan Ayew in the 20th minute to hand the Black Stars their second win at the tournament.

It was a cagey opening with possession evenly balanced but the Black Stars were the better side.

Star man Christian Atsu nutmegged Traore and broke inside the box. He laid a pass for Andre Ayew who controlled with his back to goal and spun but his aim at goal from close range was poor and the shot went wide.
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Shortly Mali threatened with a header from a Molla Wague from a corner kick which went wide.

But Ghana proved too strong in attack and Jordan pick up a ball and drifted to the left before whipped in a cross which was powerfully and perfectly headed in by the skipper Gyan.

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On the half hour mark, Jordan Ayew drove in a shot from just outside the box after cutting in from the left but his attempt was palmed away by goalkeeper Ousman Sissoko.

Atsu’s left footed shot was blocked by Salif Coulibaly after collecting a through pass from Mubarak Wakaso.

Mali barely caused troubles for Ghana and failed to create opportunities to leave them trailing.

Four minutes into the second half, Mali created their first scoring opportunity when Bakary Sako sent in a cross to the far right which was headed powerfull by Moussa Marega but Razak Brimah, the Ghana goalkeeper, dealt with it easily.

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Marega was presented with another opportunity but he skied his effort from close range.

The decision by Mali coach Alain Giresse to introduce Yves Bissouma at the break seemed to have added some bite to the midfield as his speed and passes posed questions to the Stars.

Mali found their groove and coupled with some dodgy defending from Ghana, they started creating problems for the defence with even centre back Coulibaly of TP Mazembe taking a shot at goal.

Left back Hamari Troare scared Ghanaian fans when his long range volley hit the side-net. At this point, it was obvious the Black Stars had run out of steam and were backpeddling.

Gireexhaustedused his cards by throwing on Moussa Doumbia and Kalifa Coulibaly but an out-of-gas Ghana side did well to neutralize them.

In the closing stages, Bissouma profited from Atsu’s poor clearance and burst past Wakaso into the box and cut back with a cross but it found nobody.

With the pressure on his team, Avram Grant introduced Afriyie Acquah to stabilize things.

Kalifa Coulibaly nearly scored when he connected a cross from inside the box but Brimah was at his agile best to palm it back into play which was headed back for the goalkeeper to grab.

Mali were awarded a late free kick from close to the box but Sako’s effort came off the wall and the Black Stars knocked it away to safety.

Ghana’s next match will be against Egypt on Wednesday in the final Group D match.

By: Rahman Osman/citifmonline.com/Ghana
Source: citifm online
Gyan goal sends Ghana into AFCON quarters

 

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