General News of Monday, 19 January 2015
Source: Kojo Smith | GhanaWeb
45′ + 1′ The first half comes to an end with Senegal in possession, in attack, as has been the case for much of the opening 45 minutes.
45′ There will be 1 minute of added time at the end of this first half, as indicated by the referee’s assistant.
43′ Time is winding down on what has been an incredibly enjoyable first half. There is just the one goal to separate the two sides, but it could very well have been four or five combined between the two teams. Ghana are putting everyone behind the ball to try and keep Senegal out and see this lead into the break.
41′ FINE SAVE! Much better from Ghana, however, who have shown flashes of what they can create in attack – it just has not happened often enough. Andre Ayew keeps the ball in play at the byline and sends a clever chip across the face of goal. Atsu meets it with an acrobatic volley, but Coundoul is up to the task, diving across to keep it out.
39′ SO CLOSE! Another free kick conceded by Afful on Gueye presents Senegal with a free kick in a dangerous area. Diop does well to pick out Sane with his delivery, but the defender’s header takes a slight deflection which takes it just wide of the near post.
37′ STAT ATTACK: Senegal have never beaten Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations in three tries, losing 1-0 in 2006 and 1994, while drawing 2-2 way back in 1968.
35′ Senegal needlessly give away a corner as a poor back pass puts Coundoul under pressure, only to see his clearance attempt scuffed behind. The ensuing delivery is superb, but Kouyate does just enough to pressure Amartey into sending his header wide with an open net in front of him!
33′ ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! Following the set piece, the pressure is kept on by Senegal. A ball is played into the area by Gueye and well-cushioned header back across goal tees up Diouf, who makes superb contact with an overhead kick, but Brimah gets his hands up to keep it out! It is an extraordinary effort from the Stoke City striker, who is unlucky not to have pulled Senegal level.
31′ Gueye is the latest player to win Senegal a free kick, as Afful is forced into a challenge. Just from a quick glance at the bodies in the penalty area, the height disparity is shocking! The green shirts are towering over the white of Ghana.
29′ The pace has picked up significantly here, which has made for some wonderful viewing. Neither side has been able to string many passes together, but the attacking intent is there. Senegal look at their most dangerous from set pieces, and their midfield has obliged, winning free kick after free kick.
27′ OFF THE BAR! Senegal come ever so close to the equalizer, again from a set piece! The ball is played into the area and is met by Kara Mbodj. It is a superb header from the Racing Genk defender, who has the keeper beaten, but is turned aside by the crossbar!
25′ Yellow Card Dame Ndoye
23′NEARLY A SECOND! This is where Ghana are so dangerous, on the counter! The Black Stars have plenty of pace in their team and it was on full display there as Jordan Ayew charges forward on a counter attack. He does well to draw a defender to him and play Atsu through on goal. The Everton man tries to hit it first time, but his attempt to curl a shot past Coundoul winds missing by inches at the far post!
21′ STAT ATTACK: Ghana have made the semi-finals in each of the last four Africa Cup of Nations. They have only once reached the final over that span, in 2010, where they lost to Egypt.
19′ It is all Senegal at the moment! The Lions of Teranga are dominating the midfield battle. They look content on winning free kicks, to try and punish Ghana with their height. The foul count continues to rise for the Black Stars, who are struggling to defend these set pieces at the moment.
17′ CLOSE! Senegal continue to apply pressure in search of an equalizer, and they are proving to be so dangerous from set pieces. Diop wins his side a free kick in midfield and lofts a ball into the area. It is headed back into the danger area by Djilobodji, but Kouyate fails to make good contact with the follow up as Brimah can collect.
15′ JUST OVER! Senegal are looking for a quick response after falling behind against the run of play. They get forward and win a corner, where they are very dangerous as a result of the height in their side. Djilobodji meets the cross from Diop, but his header is sent just over.
13′ Yellow Card Bouna Coundoul
13′ Dede Scores
13′ PENALTY TO GHANA! Horrendous miscue by the Senegal keeper, who is slow to charge off his line after a heavy touch from Atsu, and winds up taking the striker’s legs out. No hesitation from the referee who points straight to the spot.
11′ Ghana penetrate the Senegal defence for the first time, but it is short-lived. An errant throw is cleared by Sane, who starts his side out on a break. N’Doye tries to send a ball through for Diouf, but Mensah is there to provide cover and sniff out the chance.
9′ STAT ATTACK: Senegal lost just once in the qualification phase, registering four victories and a draw in their other five matches. Sadio Mane and Mame Diouf were the joint-leading scorers, with two goals each.
7′ FIRST CHANCE! Diop does well to dispossess Rabiu in midfield and dart into the area. He picks out a pass for N’Doye on the right, but the striker’s lashed shot at goal is collected easily by Brimah. Diouf throws his arms up in disgust, as he was waiting unmarked at the top of the six-yard box for a pass.
5′ Senegal are enjoying the better of the play thus far, keeping possession well in the attacking half. They have provided very few balls up to the front two, however, and need a bit more inventiveness about them.
3′ The two sides are feeling each other out early on, as the start has been very cagey. The pitch looks superb, however, which is the good news, and the stadium is packed – a pleasant site to see considering the late change of venue.
1′ Ghana kick-off and we are underway in Equatorial Guinea! The Black Stars, moving left to right, are in their all white strip, with Senegal sporting full green kits.
Black Stars starting Xi:
Razak Brimah, Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Awal Mohammed, Jonathan Mensah, Daniel Amartey, Rabiu Mohammed, Agyemang Badu, Christian Atsu, Andre Ayew, Jordan Ayew
Senegal starting XI
Coundoul, Djilobodji, Sané, Kara Mbodji, Souaré, Diop, Gueye, Badji, Kouyaté, N’Doye, Diouf.