General News of Tuesday, 27 January 2015
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