Sports News of Sunday, 1 February 2015
Source: Ismail Akwei | GhanaWeb
FULL TIME: GHANA 3-0 GUINEA. A convincing victory for the Black Stars sees them through to face the hosts in the semi-finals. They took the lead after just four minutes and never looked back. It is the best showing of the tournament for Ghana by a mile, and they appear to be heating up at the right time. For Guinea, they fail to take advantage of the luck of the draw, so to speak, as their tournament comes to a disastrous conclusion.
90′ + 8′ SHOCKING MISS! It hardly matters, but with a player in goal for Guinea, Ayew passes a simple ball into the box for Rabiu who somehow cannot turn it in from a few yards out. Nonetheless, that is the end of the match!
90′ + 6′ We’re into the sixth minute of added time, and Guinea still need to bring on a keeper and let this free kick be taken. The referee really could do with ending the match now, to prevent any more late shenanigans.
90′ + 4′ Red Card Naby-Moussa Yattara
90′ + 4′ IT’S ALL BOILING OVER IN THE FINAL SECONDS! Gyan gets clean through on goal and Yattara charges off his line, taking out the striker with a horrendous tackle and boot to the midsection. He picks up a red card and the players crowd together in what looks like quite a heated exchange.
90′ + 3′ Very strange decision from the referee, who awards an indirect free kick inside the penalty area to Guinea for time wasting. Brimah can’t believe it, but the decision has been made. The ensuing shot is blocked, however, and that will likely be the last chance of the match for Guinea to grab a goal.
90′ + 1′ Into the first of four minutes of added time, and Boye makes a sensational last-ditch tackle to prevent Traore from running through on goal. Where was that intent all match from Guinea?
90′ Yellow Card Djibril Tamsir Paye
89′ Paye is the latest Guinea player to go in the referee’s book with a tug on the shirt of Acheampong to prevent an attack. Ayew urges his team to settle down and keep calm with the match just about over here.
87′ STAT ATTACK: In five previous meetings with Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations, Ghana had scored at least a goal in each of those contests, but this is the first time they managed to put three past the National Elephants.
86′ Substitution Afriyie Acquah Mohammed Rabiu
85′ Ghana are keeping possession well in midfield as they look to see out the final five minutes without any injuries. They are on their way to take on the hosts, who are writing quite a story in this edition of the Africa Cup of Nations after so graciously stepping in at the final hour to take over the hosting duties when Morocco dropped out.
83′ Guinea certainly have plenty of quality going forward, so there has to be something said about Ghana’s performance at the back. They have looked so comfortable throughout, keeping their shape well and communicating with one another.
81′ Substitution Camara Abdoul Razzagui François Kamano
81′ Shocking defending from Guinea, who appear to have given up. Cisse is able to rush over and clear a loose ball behind for a corner, preventing Ayew from grabbing a fourth, but these players seem to have lost the plot.
79′ Substitution Christian Atsu Frank Acheampong
79′ The tempo has slowed to a near stand-still now and with the result set in stone here, it looks as though we will slowly creep toward the finish line. Ghana make their first change, bringing on Anderlecht’s Frank Acheampong.
77′ STAT ATTACK: Ghana allowed just six shots on target from their three matches combined in the group stage, the lowest total of any team in the competition.
75′ WAS THAT THE CHANCE? A cross in from the right is attacked well by Yattara, forcing Brimah to rush off his line. The keeper fails to clear convincingly, and Conte is there to follow up. Brimah is well out of his goal, but the ball doesn’t fall kindly for the midfielder who fails to direct his effort on target.
73′ Tempers seem to have settled a bit, at least for the time being, as Guinea set their sights on a consolation goal. They enjoy one of their better spells of possession in this half, but still cannot find a way through.
71′ HEADED OVER! Ghana nearly make it four as a Gyan rises to meet a free kick whipped in by Mubarak from the left, but his header is off the mark.
70′ Yellow Card Boubacar Fofana
69′ Tempers are boiling over now and this is not what you want to see! Guinea are clearly frustrated with everything that has taken place so far and they are starting to take it out on the Ghana players. Fofana lunges hard into a tackle with Mubarak which brings a cluster of players together. The referee has to take charge or this will get ugly.
67′ It may not be the result they were hoping for, but Guinea can hold their heads high for how they performed in the tournament. The National Elephants were left for dead at the start, drawn into a group with Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Mali, but managed to avoid defeat en route to a quarter-final berth.
65′ 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.
63′ You get the sense now that Ghana could win this game by any margin they please. Guinea are looking awfully discouraged and it is showing in their play.
61′ Assist Wakaso
61′ Goal Christian Atsu
Atsu keeps the ball in play, barely, and makes quick work of Paye near the touch line. He takes two quick steps into the centre, but is still a long way out from goal when he lets fly. He strikes the shot brilliantly, as it curls and dips beyond the keeper and into the top corner! You cannot strike the ball better than that!
61’FORGET GOAL OF THE TOURNAMENT, THAT MAY BE THE GOAL OF THE YEAR FROM CHRISTIAN ATSU!
59′ SHOCKING EFFORT! With plenty of bodies waiting in the centre, Traore again selfishly opts to go for goal himself from a difficult angle. His shot blazes over the bar and the chance comes to nothing.
58′ Great run from Traore and Keita manages to send a dangerous ball through for him. The midfielder is taken down on the edge of the area by Baba, presenting Guinea with a great chance to pull themselves back into the game here.
56′ Substitution Kevin Constant Naby Deco Keïta
56′ Another free kick for Ghana, with Mubarak standing over to take. He whips in a teasing cross from the left of the penalty area, but no one is there to attack it at the near post as Guinea clear their lines.
54′ Naby Keita is up on the touch line and warming up for Guinea. The midfielder has been a vital member of their attack throughout the tournament, but will have a tough task here to try and spark some inspiration into his side, who have look largely discouraged since coming out of the break.
52′ Confident punch from Yattara, who has been largely unconvincing up to this point, but charges off his line to make a vital clearance with Gyan looking to get on the end of a cross from Afful.
50′ Gyan is taken out by a clumsy tackle from Camara, earning the centre-back a yellow card. The striker is shouting for a sending off, which is a bit outrageous on his part. The ensuing free kick is played short, but read well by Guinea and the attack is broken up.
49′ Yellow Card Fodé Camara
48′ Positive start for Guinea in this second half as they muster up an attack and direct a shot on target. Yattara’s header is well wide, but the build up play should provide the National Elephants with a bit of encouragement.
46′ The second half is underway! Can Guinea channel their inner DR Congo and mount a comeback? We’ll find out over the next 45 minutes.
Guinea have their work cut out for them, and have already been forced into making a change due to an injury. They have just two left, and we can expect them to bring on Seydouba Soumah and Naby Keita soon enough.
HALF TIME: GHANA 2-0 GUINEA. Goals at both ends of the first half have the Black Stars comfortably in front at the break, as they look to clinch a fifth consecutive appearance in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals. Guinea have looked capable of getting back into the game, but they are in dire need of a better end product or their tournament will be over!
45′ Substitution Idrissa Sylla Mohamed Yattara
45′ That is the end of the first half, with Ghana comfortably in front.
44′ Goal Kwesi Appiah
Shocking stuff from Fofana, who completely scuffs a clearance attempt and Appiah is there to pounce on the mistake, justifying his inclusion in the side with a superb finish through the legs of Yattara!
44′ GHANA DOUBLE THEIR LEAD THROUGH KWESI APPIAH!
43′ It looks like Idrissa Sylla’s night will come to an end early, as the striker is helped off the field with an injury. The medical staff signals to the coach that he cannot continue, so we will likely see Mohamed Yattara sooner than later.
41′ Much better from Traore! If Guinea are to get back in the game it will likely have to come through him. The winger shows great pace to get into the final third and tries to play a one-two with Sylla to get himself into the area. The return pass is read well by Boye, however, and the chance fizzles out.
39′ GREAT CHANCE WASTED! Appiah makes a lovely run into space and calls for the ball. He gets it, and surges forward. He has a clear path into the area, but for some unknown reason, tries an early shot which makes for a comfortable save for Yattara.
37′ Guinea are getting into some good positions in the attacking third, but they cannot get that decisive final touch to take a chance. They have enjoyed equal, if not more, possession, yet they are still searching for their first shot on target with Brimah not having a save to make in this first half.
35′ While their end product may be lacking in the first half, Ghana’s two full-backs are doing a superb job of getting themselves involved in the match. Baba and Afful have seen plenty of the ball and have put in some strong defensive tackles at the back.
34′ Yellow Card Naby-Moussa Yattara
33′ WHAT IS THE KEEPER DOING?! Yattara loses his head in the Guinea goal! His side win a free kick, and Atsu picks up the ball to delay it from being taken, before getting pushed to the ground with real force from the keeper, who only walks away with a yellow card. It is quite absurd from Yattars at such an early stage in the match.
31′ Gyan does well to receive a pass and win his side another free kick. They pour men forward into the area, and the delivery from Afful picks out Boye at the far post, unmarked, but he cannot make clean contact with his foot to send it across the face of goal. Right idea there, just lacked execution.
29′ STAT ATTACK: Guinea are participating in the knockout stage for just the second time in their last five appearances at the Africa Cup of Nations. Only once in their history, however, have they made it past the quarter-finals, finishing runners-up in 1976.
27′ Ghana have to try and get Andre Ayew more involved in their build up play. The forward has been arguably the most valuable player of the tournament thus far, and contributed an assist with his first touch of the game. He has seen very little of the ball since, however.
25′ BLASTED OVER! Another great chance for Ghana from a set piece, but Mensah’s shot takes a sizeable deflection as it sails over the bar. The referee awards Guinea a goal kick, quite shockingly missing the deflection, much to the dismay of the Black Stars.
23′ Wasteful from Afful! The right-back has plenty of men waiting in the centre as the free kick is taken, but his delivery is struck with far too much power, sailing over everyone’s head and behind for a goal kick.
22′ Clumsy defending from Fofana! The midfielder does well to force Atsu outside and has the attacker retreating, but undoes all that with a silly and needless tackle from behind. His lapse in concentration has presented Ghana with a good chance to double their advantage from the ensuing free kick.
21′ Yellow Card Kevin Constant
20′ Paye gives the ball away as Afful does well to read the pass. He intercepts and darts forward, looking a real menace as he tries to transition into attack. Kevin Constant realizes the potential threat and takes the defender out, earning himself the first yellow card of the match.
18′ Ghana are applying great pressure on the ball high up the pitch, forcing Guinea to drop deeper in possession. They are not doing a good enough job to win the ball back, however, allowing their opponents to take control since falling behind early.
16′ Guinea are actually looking the more comfortable team in possession, though they have not been able to pick out a good enough final ball to really trouble the Ghana defence.
14′ The fast-paced start has slowed a bit with the foul count rising. The midfield third has become something of a battleground, with hard tackles being put in from both teams. That has been a common theme in the tournament, with referee’s reluctance to issue out cards a real talking point in the group stage.
12′ STAT ATTACK: Guinea have never beaten Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations, drawing twice and losing three times. This is, however, the first time they are meeting beyond the group stage.
10′ WASTEFUL! A tremendous chance for Guinea to pull one back quickly, with a free kick to the right of the area, right on the edge of the box. Traore takes, but rather ambitiously tries to squeeze it in at the near post from a tight angle. He gets it all wrong as the shot rolls harmlessly wide and into the side netting.
8′ There is a wonderful pace to this match early on. Ghana look like a different team than the one which crawled and scraped their way to the knockout stage. Guinea will be discouraged by conceding early, but they still appear full of confidence as they push forward, which will prove important as they try and claw their way back into the game.
6′ It is a dream start for Ghana! In their two victories over Algeria and South Africa in the group stage, they required goals in the dying minutes to claim all three points. Only once in the group stage did they manage a first half goal, and they actually went on to lose that game 2-1 at the hands of Senegal.
4′ Assist André Ayew
4′ Goal Christian Atsu
Absolutely superb play from Andre Ayew, as he latches onto a pass from Appiah in the area, holding off a defender and sending a super back-heel pass across the area and into the path of Christian Atsu who slots it past the sprawling keeper!
4′ Abslotutely superb play from Andre Ayew, as he latches onto a pass from Appiah in the area, holding off a defender and sending a super back-heel pass across the area and into the path of Christian Atsu who slots it past the sprawling keeper!
4′ GHANA TREMENDOUSLY JUMP OUT TO AN EARLY LEAD!
3′ Guinea start quickly, and appear to have plenty of running in their side. They are only here, of course, as a result of a drawing of lots which sent them to the knockout stage at the expense of Mali. But you know what they say, it doesn’t matter how you get there, just what you do with it when you’re there!
1′ We are underway! Moving right to left, Guinea are in red and yellow. Ghana in black. Here we go!
Live commentary by goal.com
The Black Stars of Ghana are facing the Syli National of Guinea in their quarter-final clash at the Africa Cup of Nations 2015 in Equatorial Guinea.
The game kicked off at 1600 GMT at the Estadio de Malabo, a move to this stadium due to concerns about the surface in Mongomo.
Guinea, led by Coach Michel Dussuyer, survived in the competition after they emerged winners through a drawing of lots against Mali from Group D, which is the first draw of the competition since 1988.
There are some changes in the line-up of the Black Stars as Avram Grant is starting Kwesi Appiah ahead of Jordan Ayew and injured Daniel Amartey is making way for John Boye as the rest retain their positions.
Starting line-up for Ghana: Razak Brimah; Harrison Afful, Baba Rahman, Jonathan Mensah, John Boye; Afriyie Acquah, Mubarak Wakaso, Andre Ayew, Christian Atsu; Asamoah Gyan, Kwesi Appiah.
The Guineans also have made some changes in their starting line-up with Issiaga Sylla replaced by Paye and Abdoul Camara taking the place of Keïta. Yattara is also benched for Idrissa Sylla to have a taste of the action against Ghana.
Starting line-up for Guinea: Naby Yattara, Sankoh, Paye, Camara, Cissé, Constant, Fofana, Abdoul Camara, Idrissa Sylla, Traoré, Conté.