Mubarak Wakaso scored a first-half penalty as Ghana
took a big stride towards the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations
when they beat Mali 1-0 on Thursday.
22-year-old converted the 38th-minute kick to take Ghana above Mali in
the Group B standings with four points from their opening two matches
with a final group game against Niger to come in Port Elizabeth on
immediately booked after scoring for displaying a religious slogan when
he lifted up his jersey to reveal "Allah is Great" emblazoned on his
It was his second yellow of the tournament and he will now miss Ghana's third group match against Niger on Monday.
win was fully deserved after the Black Stars out-played the team who
had beaten them to third place at the last finals in Equatorial Guinea
and Gabon one year ago.
Agyemang Badu was a powerful presence in midfield and was at the heart
Ghana's success. His run into the opposing area led to the penalty,
just minutes after he had struck the upright with a header from
Wakaso's free kick.
sought to try and change the tactics for an opponent with a different
style of play," said Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah. "It proved successful."
might have been a different story, however, had the Ivorian referee,
Noumandiez Doue, shown a red card when Ghana goalkeeper Fatau Dauda
handled just outside his area in the sixth minute.
slipped as he tried to claim the ball ahead of Mali's captain Seydou
Keita and handled the ball on the ground, but escaped with a yellow
"I don't understand why the referee did not do his responsibility," said Mali coach Patrice Carteron.
dominated having made changes to their team after conceding a two-goal
lead to draw their opening game against Democratic Republic of Congo on
"We have to admit that Ghana was better than us today but we still have a last game to come," Carteron added.
sad for the players because we wanted to do better but we still have
three points. We have no time to be disappointed now, we must prepare
for the next game."
Mali, who beat Niger in their Group B opener, meet the Democratic Republic of Congo in their last match in Durban.
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