On 7th June, 2009, Ghana defeated their West African neigbours Mali by two goals to nil through two second half goals from Kwadwo Asamoah and Matthew Amoah to maintain their lead on top of group B of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
Black Stars, could have broken the deadlock in the first half but Matthew Amoah’s header to a low cross by Prince Tagoe flew over the bar to the relief of Malian goalkeeper Mahamadou Sidibe.
Opoku Agyemang who was handed his first competitive start for the Black Stars was the first player to pick the yellow card from referee Divine Evehe.
Mali created half-chances as their final crosses from the wings was dealt with by goalkeeper Richard Kingson.
The opening half which was fairly balanced ended goalless.
Milovan Rajevac started the second half with the second side that began the opening half but it was Mali who should have scored as Frederic Kanoute tested Richard Kingson with a shot from outside the box which missed goal.
Ghana were reeling under pressure with the Malians dictating the pace of the game at the Stade 26 Mars which had attracted a full house.
As the minutes went by, John Paintsil flung a throw-in to Asamoah who turned round his marker and with the ball on his favourite left, let go a shot from 25 yards beating Mahamadou Sidibe for the opener after 67 minutes.
The goal revived Ghana’s hopes of a claiming all three points on the evening as the Malians appeared to have completely missed the plot.
Essien went forward past two markers and saw his shot spilled by the goalkeeper but Sidibe was quick to collect the ball.
But twelve minutes after the opener, Michael Essien combined beautifully with Matthew Amoah and laid the final ball into the Amoah, then with NAC Breda striker’s path to squeeze a shot past the Malian goalkeeper, a goal which put the game beyond their hosts.
With the game almost sealed, the Ghana bench effected their substitution with Isaac Vorsah coming on for Opoku Agyeman.
Mali surged forward for a goal but they missed target narrowly in the dying minutes of play.
Two more changes were made by Milovan Rajevac as he pulled out Prince Tagoe for Haminu Draman and Moussa Narry came on for Michael Essien.
Ghana line up:
Richard Kingson, John Paintsil, Harrison Afful, John Mensah, Eric Addo, Anthony Annan, Michael Essien/ Moussa Narry, Kwadwo Asamoah, Prince Tagoe/Haminu Draman, Opoku Agyeman/Isaac Vorsah, Matthew Amoah
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