General News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015
67 mins South Africa need another goal. They are sitting back in defence, but it is not enough for them as things stand. They are tied on points with Senegal at the moment, but their goal differential sits at -1, with the Lions at even.
65 mins IMPORTANT INTERVENTION! The free kick is headed behind by South Africa for a corner, as the pressure remains on. Ghana play it short before it is delivered into the area. Gyan gets there ahead of the keeper to head back across goal, but Mathoho intervenes to poke it away from Mensah.
63 mins Afful finally contributes in attack, picking a good time to run forward as he takes a switch pass and heads it into the path of Andre Ayew. The attackers is then taken down and Ghana have themselves a free kick from 25 yards out.
61 mins vram Grant looks on nervously, knowing his team need two goals to go through as things stand. The Black Stars are dominating possession, with the ball hardly leaving the South Africa end, yet they have failed to muster a single shot on target in this second half.
59 mins Ghana are really struggling to create. South Africa have nearly everone behind the ball and the Black Stars do not have an answer at the moment. Mubarak again tries a strike from distance, but this one is woefully wide as the attack fizzles out.
58 mins Substitution Thuso Phala (OUT) Sibusiso Vilakazi (IN)
57 mins SUPERB DECISION MAKING! The Ayew brothers link up very well, as Andre picks out Jordan, who turns well to break into the area. He tries to pick out Gyan with a short cross, but Khuzwayo reads it well and rushes off his line to punch clear again!
55 mins Mubarak wins his side yet another corner as his shot from 30 yards out is deflected behind. The midfielder has struggled to with his deliveries from the right, failing to provide a good in-swinger, and this one is cleared easily at the near post by South Africa.
53 mins Ghana are certainly pressing now, commiting many more men forward. They have South Africa pinned in their own half and win a corner. Mubarak delivers again, but Khuzwayo shows great command of his area to punch clear.
51 mins VITAL CLEARANCE! Rantie shows excellent pace to chase down a long pass forward and puts Mensah under a ton of pressure. He looks to have the beating of the defender, but Brimah rushes off his line to boot it clear just ahead of the striker’s impending arrival.
49 mins OPPORTUNITY WASTED! Gyan takes, and has all sorts of space to the left of the keeper, but tries to dip it over the wall instead, and winds up sending the effort over the bar.
48 mins REAL CHANCE HERE! Good work from Gyan as he holds up the ball and pushes forward through the heart of defence. He feels contact from Jali and goes down just outside the area to win his side a free kick in a very threatening position.
46 mins The referee awaits word from the other match, and we are finally underway as South Africa kick-off the second half.
HALF TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 1 – 0 GHANA. There is a surprise on the cards here, with Mandla Masango’s wonder goal providing Bafana Bafana with the lead at the break. The Black Stars have enjoyed the better of play, as well as more possession, but have hardly looked threatening on the ball. They will have to change their approach for the second half, as they require two goals to go through as things stand.
45 + 1 mins First half ends with both teams going out as things stand!
45 mins There will be just one minute of stoppage time at the end of this first half as indicated by the fourth official, as play is halted with Ngconga down injured.
43 mins Ghana are seriously lacking inventiveness in the final third. Their passing in midfield has been pedestrian at best, and their only real threat in this first half has come from set pieces. They have to start playing more direct and making life difficult on South Africa at the back.
41 mins SMART SAVE! Phala puts in some good work on the right, before laying off a pass for Ngconga in space. The defender sends a cross in for Ndulula at the far post, but Brimah dives across to get a hand to it! That is a huge save from the keeper, as Ghana would be in deep trouble falling behind 2-0.
39 mins STAT ATTACK: South Africa are unbeaten against Ghana in their three previous Africa Cup of Nations matches in 1996, 2000 and 2002. The Black Stars failed to score a single goal over that span.
37 mins Yellow Card —– A. Ngcongca
37 mins The referee has a bit of a shocker as he shows the first yellow card of the match to Angele Ngconga for the slightest contact into the back of Andre Ayew. There has been far worse already in this match, so the decision is a bit harsh on the South African right-back.
36 mins Substitution Daniel Amartey (OUT) John Boye (IN)
35 mins Ghana are now the team with an injury concern as centre-back Daniel Amartey is helped off the pitch. The injury must have occured behind the play, because there was no sign of him picking up a knock. Nonetheless, it looks like he will not be able to continue as John Boye begins warming up on the sidelines.
33 mins SUPERB SAVE! Another free kick for Ghana, this one won along the left. The delivery from Mubarak this time is not great, but the clearance at the near post from Furman goes straight to Rahman Baba. The defender drives a volley at goal with his weaker foot, but Khuzwayo lunges across with strong hands to keep it out!
31 mins WFUL TACKLE! Jali gets on the end of a dangerous cutback pass from Rantie and has a shot first time. It is deflected behind, but the real concern comes on the follow through from Gyan, as he gets his studs up and wipes out the legs of the midfielder, who is now down and in need of some medical attention.
29 mins Worrying moments for South Africa as Khuzwayo is down and injured. The keeper is punching the ground in despair as he clutches his hamstring. This would be a huge blow for Bafana Bafana who have already used both their back-up keepers in the tournament and relegated each of them to the bench after less than convincing performances.
27 mins HEADED WIDE! Another corner for Ghana is whipped in well to the far post, which has been a common trend throughout the match for the Black Stars. Again they win the header, but Amartey and Jordan Ayew get in each others way and the centre-back sends his effort wide! Ghana are winning every header, though, which has to worry the South Africa coach, Ephraim Mashaba.
25 mins South Africa are sitting back and trying to defend their lead, which is hardly how they want to play the last 65 minutes of this match. Atsu sends another strong cross into the area, but a great defensive header from Ngconga prevents Jordan Ayew from getting on the end of it.
23 mins The Black Stars win a corner and they have already shown the threat they pose from set pieces. The delivery in is good and headed back into the danger area by Mensah, but the keeper rushes off his line and punches clear with authority!
21 mins Ghana are on the front foot, pushing desperately for an equalizer. They are in control of the match, but were in the same position when South Africa took the lead. It did come against the run of play, but that hardly matters now.
19 mins it stands, both teams are going out! South Africa would be left tied with Senegal on points, but are behind on goal differential. They need another goal, or one more from Algeria to go through. Ghana have their work cut out for them now! They need to win if the other result stands, as a draw would see them go out based on an inferior head-to-head record against Senegal.
17 mins Goal —- Mandla Masango
17 mins SENSATIONAL! ABSOLUTE STUNNER FROM MANDLA MASANGO AND SOUTH AFRICA SNATCH THE LEAD!
15 mins ppeals for a penalty turned aside! It is certainly the right call from the referee from Madagascar, as Atsu sends a ball into the area and shouts for a handball as Furman gets a block in. The cross appeared to hit him in the face, however, so the referee gets his first big decision right.
13 mins Meanwhile, Algeria have frabbed the lead at the Estadio de Malabo! This is welcome news for both teams. Ghana would go through as group winners with a victory, while South Africa cannot go through with a draw in the other match. The early lead for Algeria should give them some hope and added incentive to push forward.
11 mins GREAT CROSS! Thuso Phala takes a pass brilliantly in stride, darting up the right flank. He sends a superb ball into the area, but Bongani Ndulula just fails to get a head to it. There is a wonderful pace to this match early on.
9 mins Well it certainly has been an open match early on, but not in the way South Africa were hoping. Bafana Bafana have yet to settle into the match, with nerves taking over at the back. Khuzwayo nearly made a mess of the first shot he faced, but now that the keeper has had a touch of the ball he should be able to sette down and do his job.
7 mins CLEARED OFF THE LINE! Incredible! South Africa are looking lost at the back. A clever run and pass from Christian Atsu allows Asamoah Gyan to have a go from just outside the area. The simple shot is spilled horribly by Nhlanhla Khuzwayo and Jordan Ayew pounces on the rebound. He rounds the keeper, but Eric Mathoho recovers brilliantly to block the shot off the line!
5 mins CLOSE TO THE OPENER! From a free kick, Wakaso Mubarak delivers a wonderful ball towards the far post where Jonathan rises to meet it, but his downwards header bounces wide!
3 mins The Black Stars dominate possession early on, but have yet to penetrate the back line of South Africa. Bafana Bafana will go out with anything less than a victory today, so they will have to push forward which should result in an exciting, fast-paced match.
1 mins Ghana kick-off and we are underway! The Black Stars, moving right to left, are in all white. South Africa are in yellow and green. Plenty on the line today so lets get on with it!
Black Stars Xi:
Razak Braimah, Harrison Afful, Baba Abdul Rahman, Daniel Amartey, Jonathan Mensah, Afriyie Acquah, Mubarak Wakaso, Andre Ayew, Christian Atsu, Asamoah Gyan, Jordan Ayew
GHANA SUBS: Appiah, Gyimah, Awal, Agyemang-Badu, Sowah, Rabiu, Asante, Otoo, Dauda, Accam, Boye, Acheampong.
GHANA (4-4-2): Braimah; Afful, Amartey, Mensah, Baba; Atsu, Acquah, Wakaso, A. Ayew; Gyan, J. Ayew.
South Africa Xi:
Khuzwayo, Ngcongca, Mathoho, Coetzee, Matlaba, Phala, Furman, Jali, Masango, Ndulula, Rantie
SOUTH AFRICA SUBS: Keet, Nhlapo, Zungu, Vilakazi, Letsholonyane, Sangweni, Parker, Zwane, Gcaba, Mabokgwane.
SOUTH AFRICA (4-4-2): Khuzwayo; Ngcongca, Coetzee, Mathoho, Matlaba; Phala, Furman, Jali, Masango; Ndulula, Rantie.
- South Africa are unbeaten in three previous Afcon matches against the Black Stars, winning two and drawing one
- Ghana have failed to score in each of those three previous games against South Africa (1996, 2000, 2002)
- Bafana Bafana are looking to make it into the knockout round in consecutive Afcon tournaments for the first time since 2002
- Ghana last failed to make the knockout round in 2006, finishing no lower than 4th since then
- Asamoah Gyan has scored in his last six appearances for Ghana
- The Black Stars have lost just two of their last 13 Afcon group games (W9 D2)
- South Africa have won just one of their last 14 Afcon games (D7 L6)
- Bafana Bafana have kept only two clean sheets in those 14 matches