Ghana outclassed Niger 3-0 to reach the
quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations as Group B winners on Monday
and set up a last eight clash with Cape Verde Islands.
winners Ghana, who have not won since 1982, took the lead through
Asamoah Gyan after six minutes and although Niger had a goal disallowed
for an infringement four minutes later they rarely threatened again.
Black Stars doubled their lead through Christian Atsu after 23 minutes
and put the game beyond Niger's grasp when John Boye pounced on a
mistake by goalkeeper Kassaly Daouda to make it 3-0 from a metre out
four minutes into the second half.
some wayward shooting prevented Ghana winning by a far greater
scoreline but they did enough to top the group with seven points, while
Mali secured second spot on four points after their 1-1 draw against the
Democratic Republic of Congo.
coach Kwesi Appiah was forced into making one change from the side that
beat Mali 1-0 in their previous game because Mubarak Wakaso, who scored
the winning penalty, was suspended as well as injured.
took his place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium and had a major impact
on the outcome, scoring a wonderfully taken goal when he trapped a
cross on his chest, evaded a defender and dinked home a volley from four
Gyan had earlier
put Ghana on top with a powerfully executed angled shot, while the
forward also played his part in the third goal when Daouda failed to
hold his powerful header and Boye was in the right place to tap in.
said that despite the scoreline Niger were a good test for Ghana as
they seek to end their 31-year Nations Cup title wait.
"We have a new team, a developing team and I would say we are improving. We are halfway there," Appiah told reporters.
course I am delighted we are in the quarter-finals but we now have a
very hard match against Cape Verde ahead of us and that will not be
easy," he added.
likely to find Cape Verde, who finished as runners-up to South Africa in
Group A, a far more disciplined and organised opponent on Saturday but
on this form they will start as favourites to win that game too.
who lost all three games on their Africa Cup of Nations debut last year
and who picked up their first finals point here after drawing with Congo
on Thursday, had made some improvements according to coach Gernot Rohr.
course I am sorry that we are out, but we have time now to improve and
at least we got a point, which is better than we did last time," said
"I would like to
congratulate Ghana. They played very well, I was very impressed with
them and for me, well of course they are good enough to win the title."
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